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My Life in Jewelry : A Memoir - Azza Fahmy

My Life in Jewelry

A Memoir

By: Azza Fahmy, Dr. Sarah Enany (Translator)

Hardcover | 7 May 2024

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"How a female artisan became the Arab world's top jewelry designer"-CNBC on Azza Fahmy

The inspiring personal story of an exceptional female artist and entrepreneur who overcame great obstacles to become one of the most recognized jewelers in the Arab world and an international luxury brand

In the Egypt of the 1970s, a young Azza Fahmy set out into the all-male world of Historic Cairo's jewelry district to apprentice as a silversmith. This was the start of a remarkable success story that would make her name an international luxury brand. With warmth and candor, she recalls a happy childhood in Upper Egypt, spent in the bygone world of postwar Egypt. This idyllic start to life ended abruptly with the death of her father, when Azza Fahmy was only thirteen, and the family was forced to move to Cairo, to begin a new life under much reduced circumstances.

It was a chance find at a book fair that changed the course of events for her-sparking a passion for silversmithing, and inspiring her to seek out the master craftsmen of Khan al-Khalili, the great craft district of Historic Cairo, and the nearby Sagha, or goldsmiths' and silversmiths' district. Through her intimate knowledge of these jewelry workshops, Azza Fahmy takes us through the quarter's exquisite architecture and bustling alleyways, peopled with silversmiths, goldsmiths, brass workers, and artisans of every stripe, and lays out the indelible influence this now disappearing world has left on her acclaimed jewelry designs.

While Azza Fahmy's story is one of great accomplishment, woven through it are her struggles as a single mother, a middle-class Egyptian, and a woman working in a man's profession. This memoir, a tribute to the people and places that shaped her creative imagination, is also an ode to the conviction that with hope and perseverance, anything is possible.

Industry Reviews

"The book doesn't only talk about Fahmy as a designer, but also gives an insight into her life. . . . one of the most recognized jewelry designers in the Arab world." -Vogue Arabia

"An exceptional woman, who makes exceptional jewels in exceptional circumstances." -The Telegraph on Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt

"Azza Fahmy's brand of tempered Middle Eastern exoticism has started to spread beyond the Arab world." -Financial Times on Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt

"Fahmy's jewelry catches the spirit of Arab tradition. The pieces are inspired by everything from the hammered silver of peasant wedding jewelry and the repetitive patterns of Islamic architecture to symbols of Arab folklore such as wolf fangs and chili peppers." -Time Magazine on Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt

"The Arab world's top jewelry designer . . . Azza Fahmy pieces have been spotted on celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Queen Rania of Jordan." -CNBC on Azza Fahmy

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