ARTISAN VISITOR CENTER
home > Our future vision > Artisan visitor center & concept store
HERITAGE: A TOOL TO BUILD THE FUTURE.
Our goal is to create an artisan center and concept store in the old town of Shali, the historical heart of Siwa oasis.
The concept is to empower and support women and local artisans, which devote themselves to the production of unique and exclusive products to keep the traditions alive. A carefully selected mix of emerging artisans will create a unique collection of products that have been ethically made and that generate meaningful income to themselves and their community.
Shali, which looks like a desert fortress, is one of the first settlements established by Berbers coming from the Western-Sahara. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Center in 1994. The structure of karshif (a mixture of salt and mud) endured the hardships of almost a thousand years, until the beginning of the 1900s when it started to collapse due to heavy rainfall.
Today, Shali is being rebuilt and in order to further contribute to the heritage conservation of the oasis, we aim to establish an artisan center, which will serve different purposes:
- A handicraft visitors center: where people can see and learn how local handicrafts are being made and where exhibitions and competitions are held to enhance the visibility of the traditional crafts, attracting designers and artists.
- A concept store: where the products of ‘Siwa Life’ are being sold and where local artisans that don’t have the means to rent an entire shop, can rent a part of the store to exhibit and sell their products.
- An exhibition area: where exclusive and historical handicrafts can be exhibited, to bring awareness to the rich handicraft history and how the art has been changing and evolving over time.