One of Egypt's last fez makers takes pride in craft

This man is one of Egypt's last fez makers

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Nasser Abdel Basset has been crafting the fez for nearly 45 years

It's the iconic felt hat

that was once worn by Egypt's elite, bureaucrats and students

President Gamal Abdel Nasser abolished the fez

after the military toppled the ruling dynasty in 1952

as it was considered one of the symbols of the former ruling elite

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEZ MAKER, NASSER ABDEL BASSET, SAYING:"I wish old times would come back. In past times, the fez was part of the uniform. Most of the people used to wear fezzes. No one could go to school or a government institution, without wearing it."

Students, scholars at Al-Azhar University and Muslim religious clerics

are now Abdel Basset's only clients

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEZ MAKER, NASSER ABDEL BASSET, SAYING:"I learned the craft from an apprentice, I inherited it and I am now passing it on. You say that the craft will disappear? How come? I'm passing it on to my children."

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