We hopped in a tuk tuk, buzzing through the narrow alleyways of Old Cairo, under the colorful Ramadan decorations. We were headed to the workshop of the Abdelrahman family, who have been alabaster artisans for six generations and are originally from Luxor in Upper Egypt. Their family members still work in their original alabaster workshop mere miles from the Ancient Pharaonic Valley of the Kings. Due to the decline of tourism in Luxor, Ali and his brother were in search of a new market for their products. They decided to move to Cairo and open a workshop there.
The raw alabaster comes to the workshop in large rock form, where it is transformed into refined home decor ready to style on your table. The Abdelrahman brothers and their team cut, lathe, carve and polish the slightly translucent stone. They choose the best use for each stone inspired by its natural marbling, which ranges from white to gold and rusty red. The marbling colors are the result of thousands of years of minerals running through the stones.
The name alabaster is believed to be derived from the Ancient Egyptian goddess Bast, often found depicted as a lioness on top of elaborately decorated alabaster perfume jars in archaeological tombs.
In honor of alabaster’s rich history dating back from Ancient Egypt, all Baladi Home alabaster products are named after notable Pharaonic women.