·         The Art of Tally:

o   Tally is a traditional method of embroidery used for occasional dresses made by women of Upper Egypt. 

o   The National Council for Women (NCW) commissioned ESFT to investigate the status of the art of tally in Upper Egypt, in order to train village women in the craft and develop it as an income generating activity.

o   The project was carried out through four phases:

1.       The pilot survey, which demonstrated that the art of tally was near extinction. ESFT started this project with financial support from NCW, which was being funded by UNESCO. Fieldwork activities started in Assuit city by visiting three NGOs that had access to a few women that were knowledgeable about the craft. In Geizerit Shandaweel; a village in Sohag Governorate, the pilot study depicted three groups of women, each with about eight women, who still embroidered tally and sold it. Although this craft was once very popular as an occasion dress for the rich, few people recalled or remembered it during the start of the project.

2.       Data collection, on the history, designs, motifs, thread, materials, production costs, retail locations and purchasing value of the art.

3.       The training program, where 360 women were trained, 180 per location. This entailed both training the trainers and training the trainees. All participants were paid for their participation. Despite a few dropouts, the training progressed successfully. In the village of Geizerat Shandaweel, the women showed much greater potential for development than those in the city of Assuit.

4.       An in-depth anthropological study, which was done solely by ESFT. Research was carried out in Geizerit Shandaweel, to get a greater understanding of the impact of the development of the art, women and village. There are certain key intangible values in the community that were used as catalysts for the development of this craft. The main value was the pride the villagers have love for their village and its history, which dates back to Ancient Egypt, They acknowledge that they have the purist drinking water in the whole country, the best soil, the best onions and the best watermelons. Furthermore, the village hosts one of the main animal markets in Egypt, and the greatest in the Governorate of Sohag. The people have a great love for commerce and pride in their origin. They value time and success, and see money as the means to marriage and in addition they acquired an organizational and competitive mentality. The people are even proud of their stubbornness and persistence. Such an environment made it possible to implement the craft development project and revive the traditional craft. What the women needed was exposure to the outside world, and direction on how to diversify their products and design different usages, thus opening to new markets. ESFT supported the artist of tally in finding new markets, in addition to supplying them with means for preserving and facilitating their production,

5.       In less than three years, the number of women engaged in this art exceeded 1000, who were contributing to their families’ budgets. The practice is now sustainable and the women of this village know their way to the different bazaars and exhibitions, and some of them are exporting their products abroad though the internet. The women of this village are more emancipated in comparison to other women of neighboring villages. Leaders have the liberty to travel to Cairo, and even go to foreign countries to exhibit their products.