Things To Do In Al-Fayoum
Major Activities In Al Fayoum
Adding to the many attractions this amazing city offers to travelers still, there are many activities an adventurous traveler can enjoy
Stop by Tunis – The Fayoum Pottery School
Established in the 1970s by a Swiss artist, Evelyne Porret, this school, which trains children and adults in the local potting traditions, is set in a beautiful mud-brick compound. Its architecture – very much in the Egyptian vernacular style – is as attractive as the students’ creations from clay, which are on sale here. From the school, ask for directions to the workshop of Ahmed Abou Zeid, another noted local potter.
Visit Al-Fayoum Art Center
This project run by painter Mohamed Abla hosts classes and resident artists from around the world. Also on the grounds is the Caricature Museum, a great collection of Egyptian political cartoons – interesting if you can read Arabic. Still, pop in just for the feel of the place – like the pottery school, it’s a beautiful space, and you never know what you’ll ﬁnd here.
Fishing at sunset on Birket Qarun
Birket Qarun supports a small fishing industry and now also provides a developing tourist haven on its southern shore. Its beaches have become a popular picnic spot for Egyptians and the variety of birds and wildlife surrounding the lake attracts those visitors weary of the monuments. Lake Qarun was enlarged during Dynasty XII and used for the pleasure of wealthy Egyptians but was reduced in size during Graeco-Roman times to provide reclaimed land for new communities. Until the 20th century the lake still contained fresh water, but now the salt content has risen to the extent that only a few varieties of fish survive there.
Buy Local baskets
Local crafts in Al-Fayoum include weaving, tapestry, embroidery, and beadwork, though the area is perhaps best known for its baskets, which are sold in Al-Faiyum City. These are made by local women and children from rice straw and palm leaves, forming many shapes and sizes with attractive designs in green, red or pink. On Tuesdays, Al-Fayoum City has a pottery market, to which potters bring their large round mud and straw pots to sell.