February 23, 2017 / 12:41 AM / 6 months ago

Egyptian craftsman turns Cairo's junk into funky furniture

CAIRO (Reuters) - In the heart of Cairo, a city all too familiar with environmental problems, Ibrahim Abougendy is doing his bit by converting discarded junk into innovative modern furniture.

A bed made of car tyres and washing machine drums, an old suitcase turned into a chair, or a chest of drawers that is now a sofa, each item is unique - and environmentally friendly, using things that would otherwise be dumped.

"We live in a system where we're constantly striving to buy new things ... but in light of the economic conditions the country is facing, you can now think of your scrap as something with potential or something that you can use to make something new and different," Abougendy told Reuters.

Many of the items that 25-year-old Abougendy uses at his upcycling company Mobikya are given to him by clients for repurposing as something new.

"The more scrap they give to us, the less they have to pay," he said.

The used tyres, one of the firm's most commonly used materials, are acquired from mechanics before they can be sent off for burning - one of the causes of Cairo's smog.

Reporting by Mohamed Zaki; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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