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Meet the Men Who Stitch Cairo’s Colorful Tents in This New Doc

The film showcases the highly skilled labor of these nimble-fingered artists.

In the post-industrial world we live in, handmade craftsmanship has fallen by the wayside, replaced by the standardized wares of factory production. But the art of khaimiya, or tent-making, is kept alive in a district of Cairo where nimble-fingered artisans spend most of the day stitching colorful, intricate patterns on the beautiful tents that dot the city’s landscape. Kim Beamish, a documentarian who arrived in Egypt in the midst of the 2011 uprising hoping to record some of the revoutionary action, instead produced this dynamic film that captures the work of Cairo’s tentmakers in vibrant color. The Tentmakers of Cairo documents the everyday lives of these unrecognized artists, as they struggle to maintain normalcy in the tumult of political and social upheaval.

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What does fixing city streets mean when the government can't, or won't, do it? In the United States, DIY interventions might be relatively subtle—maybe someone sneaking onto a road at night to fill a pothole, that drivers may or may not notice the next day. But in post-revolution Egypt, DIY street fixes are happening on an entirely different scale. As Michael Kimmelman recently reported in The New York Times:

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"The Project Flood Is Upon Us": Mississippi River Surge Is a 1-in-500 Year Event

The Mississippi flood happening now is a "Project Flood"—the biggest that could ever occur on the river.

Late Monday night, as we indicated that they might, the Army Corps of Engineers blew up a section of levee on the Mississippi in order to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois from record floods.

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Send WALL-E to Cairo's Garbage City

Bas Princen's photographs of the "Garbage City" in Cairo, Egypt are astounding. They evoke feelings of devastation, guilt, and sympathy, but...

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