Saturday, 10 January 2009
The Young Tycoon
Meet Mahmoud. Like many kids in Egypt, he sells tourist souvenirs to supplement the family income. But Mahmoud's different. He's fortunate because he lives next door to Luxor's Egyptology Centre. This means that visiting experts from abroad come and buy his wares. He's also picked up English from them, which he speaks fluently. His next piece of luck is that he met Bertje, my partner. She said, "Mahmoud, you've really got to think about your marketing and presentation. What you need is a display case with drawers to showcase your goods properly." So - with some help from his dad - he built a box from cardboard and sellotape. The rest is down to him, and he's clearly a natural entrepreneur with a keen eye for sourcing new and and unusual items. My purchase was a bead in the form of a head of a young pharaoh, which I will treasure.