Seif El Rashidi is an architectural historian whose work focuses on the
preservation of urban, architectural and craft heritage. He is currently the
director of The Barakat Trust, a UK charity that supports the preservation of
heritage related to the Islamic world. He was formerly the project manager for
Layers of London, a map-based website that enables public contributions to the
diverse history of London; the Magna Carta Programme Manager for Salisbury
Cathedral; the Coordinator of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site; a
preservation planner for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Historic Cities
Programme in Cairo, and a team member at Ahmad Hamid Architects.
He has extensive experience assessing historic urban environments, especially
in the Middle East, and in developing urban conservation plans that see local
communities and their urban environments as inseparable.
He is the co-author, with Sam Bowker of the Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s
Medieval and Modern Applique Craft, published by the American University in
Cairo Press in 2018, and has since organised several craft exhibitions and
projects to help revive the craft and raise awareness, especially in Egypt. These
include Reimagined Memories at Ubuntu Gallery in 2021; and As Great as
Your Dreams, and Khayameya Pop Up in 2022, all in Cairo.
Textile Palaces: The Remarkable Survival of an Egyptian Craft
In this talk, art historian Seif El Rashidi reveals the long and evolving history of
magnificent ceremonial tents in Egypt. These temporary palaces were used for
social and political occasions for millennia, Discussing these tents in context,
the speaker will shed light on the social and political events that took place in
public using these tents to impress foreign dignitaries and local subjects alike.
The talk will also discuss the surprising survival of this magnificent craft until
today, shedding light on the current status of the craft and efforts to preserve
and revive it, through design-led projects and national and international