Dakhla

Dakhla

Egypt

The Western Desert is part of several eco-zones including Gebel Uweinat and Gilf Kebir, Sands and Sand Dunes of the Western Desert, Western Desert Depressions and Oases, and The Western Desert Mediterranean Coastal Zone.

The Western Desert account for almost two-thirds of Egypt’s total land area, covering a total area of about 700,000 square kilometers. The area known as the Western Desert of Egypt is administratively divided into two governorates, the Matrouh Governorate in the north and the New Vally Governorate in the south.

In the Western Desert, Markaz works in the oases of the New Valley Governorate. Working primarily in the Dakhla Oasis, Markaz has also worked briefly with residents of both the Farafra and Bahariyya oases. Of the seven oases of the Western Desert, the Dakhla Oasis in particular is known to be one of the most beautiful in Egypt, with its lush green environment in the midst of the barren desert.

In the year 2000, Markaz began working with the local residents of the Dakhla Oasis on reviving basket weaving crafts through a local partner. The making of baskets is a craft that has emerged as a direct result of the local environment. The baskets created by the artisans out of palm trees, reflect a natural oasis environment rich with palm tree forests. They are subsequently marketed and sold by Markaz just as they are, in an effort to generate income for these artisans.