E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB 
Summer/Fall 2020 
  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi  
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora
    NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev 
    PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy
    BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”
   AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas
    DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists
   SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer
    AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 
    DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue
    DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020
    DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye
    DXB Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre
    DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus
    AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE
    TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ
    DXB Do You See Me How I See You?
    DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers
    AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh
    MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

    UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community
    LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia
    DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear
    DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’
    DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi
    AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting
    AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations
    DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space
    LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism
    BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

E-Issues Info
    1. Mission
    2. Schedule

    3. Editorial Board
    4. Contributors
GAD Info ––
    1. About Global Art Daily
    2. Archive

GAD Talk Series ––
    1. What is GAD? 2015 to Now

    2. Where is GAD? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

    3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover
   4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor
    5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

Open Call ––

Main website ︎


Alaa Hindia's Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

By Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board

Published on September 10, 2020

        Alaa Hindia has been a fixture on the Cairene design scene since launching his eponymous label in 2017. The jewelry designer displays a fascinating ability to eschew the platitudes which reign supreme in Cairo’s increasingly gentrified design scene by drawing inspiration from local designs in a way which avoids facile notions of authenticity. Following his rise, we met with Alaa in London to follow up on the latest developments in his career following his repatriation to his maternal country.

1. Alaa Hindia’s minimalist rings set. Courtesy of Alaa Hindia.

Global Art Daily: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into jewelry?

Alaa Hindia: I got into jewelry in my first year of university. I started my Bachelor’s in one university that only offered graphic design, media design and product design; it took me 3 weeks to decide it just wasn’t for me. I had to be impulsive and decide whether or not I will survive 5 years of it. I then had the rest of the semester to kill so I took some jewelry courses at Azza Fahmy design studio in Cairo, which at the time was the best jewelry school and a really exciting space to explore technical skills for jewelry. They had really great teachers that were really at the top of their game and offered so much variety in terms of problem solving and creative thinking. I took a weekend workshop and then a 6-week beginners workshop. It then morphed into an intermediate course when I refused to do the basics and instead threw myself into the deep end. After that, it has all been self-teaching and experimenting. It helps a lot that I had access to Khan el-Khalili, Cairo’s jewelry quarter. It’s a very easy space to wander and find different artisans and materials and processes.

It helps a lot that I had access to Khan el-Khalili, Cairo’s jewelry quarter.

GAD: Which materials do you prefer using? You began by crafting everything in Cairo, does that affect which materials you use?

A.H.: I love silver. I’m a bit biased because jewelry in North Africa uses a lot of silver. But I also love brass and copper for the financial ease of it! Recently I’ve been self teaching different uses for stones in various shapes and sizes, as well as entertaining different perspectives on material, but I haven’t visualised that just yet.

2. The designer handmakes all his jewelry. Photo: Courtesy of Alaa Hindia

GAD: What has your experience been since you have moved to London?

A.H.: My experience has been great! Of course I’ll subconsciously compare day to day working dynamics with Cairo and its jewelers quarter, but in London there is a mix of very singular makers with their own identities. So for example, stone carving specialists, metalworkers, art jewellers; isolating all the different creative fields that jewelers here are able to operate in is a task in itself. There’s an energy in the air that makes everything seem possible and within reach.

There’s an energy in the air that makes everything seem possible and within reach.

GAD: What are your views on the state of Arab jewelry generally and what direction is it going in?

A.H.: It’s been very interesting to gain insight into how the world actually works outside of Cairo — it’s a bit insular in Egypt and you don’t get as much variety of personalities here. I’ve also noticed that there’s a specific readiness to think of jewelry in a more dynamic way. Egypt has a great appreciation for folk jewelry, but the way the contemporary design scene in Cairo has developed was a bit static until very recently. Unfortunately my comparative attitude will never leave me but I’m very excited about Cairo’s future.

It’s been very interesting to gain insight into how the world actually works outside of Cairo.

3. Alaa Hindia’s signature snake earrings and abstract hoops. Photo: Courtesy of Alaa Hindia

I’m very excited about Cairo’s future.

GAD: Your jewelry uses certain motifs, can you highlight some of these and give us some background about their significance?

A.H.: I’m a bit nostalgic in my creativity, so my mind always gets excited to go back in time and try to understand where things come from, whether it’s recent events or events when humans barely existed. So for example the hand — it’s basically a khamsa, but it’s also painted in prehistoric caves, and the Greeks carved them in stone as offerings to the gods. I always look for a multiplicity to any motif that I use. The more you see something repeated, the more you try to wrap your head around why it exists, and also start to believe that you will never be able to transform it , that it’s all cyclical and you just have to roll with it and make it beautiful. There’s too much to work with and I’m greedy!  

4. Alaa Hindia often uses the khamsa hand in his design. Photo: Courtesy of Alaa Hindia

I always look for a multiplicity to any motif that I use.

GAD: How have you situated your identity as a designer?

A.H.: I’m still trying to nitpick my identity as a designer and it will always evolve — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly— but the consistent theme is that I always look to jewelry with an anthropological veneer to it. Not to say I’m against industrial manufacturing, but wearing handmade enriches your day in a tactile way that you can’t really experience in any other way.

Wearing handmade enriches your day in a tactile way that you can’t really experience in any other way.

5. Alaa Hindia Snake Earrings, detail. Photo: Courtesy of Alaa Hindia

Alaa Hindia is a London-based jewelry designer and founder of his eponymous brand, Alaa Hindia. Crafted in Cairo, his pieces present an evolving exploration of intimacy and materiality. Placing quality and sustainability as core values, each piece is hand-sculpted and crafted, celebrating its irregularities unique to each wearer.

Follow Alaa Hindia on Instagram.