Sixty-years old Hedi ARFAOUI with his fresh and live spirit, has been doing this job for more than 50 years without feeling exhausted or wishing to leave it. He is the creator of Birdcages of Sidi Bou Said.
After his retirement in 2003, he chose to keep an active life by cooperating with the Ministry of Tourism and Artisanat. He spends between 10 to 12 hours everyday working in his little workshop and managing his showroom in the Artisan's Hous (Maison de l’Artisan) in Denden, Tunis.
It is way to be a drudgery to me. Hours I spend inside my workshop are the most bright in my day. It is a passion, and passionate people continue till the end. The energy and pains that this kind of handcraft needs has pushed many other artisans to quit it and move for other expertise that is less demanding and more beneficial in order to respond to their needs.
Committed to his passion Hedi ARFAOUI refuses to see that kind of Art fall in the decay of abandon, so he contributes from his modest workspace to it’s evolution. In order to survive and not fall in the oblivion, his cages has to be in harmony with the modern ages and also recall our origins. “I tried to communicate some techniques to young people but it was in vain. They didn’t show any interest. And for my sons, I can’t impose them the choice of this handcraft”
Despite the blurry horizon of this domain and the effort it needs. Hedi is determined to pursue his career as a craftsman specialized in creating Bird-cages. That job that brings meaning to his life.
About the town of Sidi Bou Said : Sidi Bou Said is an excellent “base of operations” for your trip to Tunisia. Since it is located very close to Tunis, there is plenty of things to do in and around the town. The streets of Sidi Bou Said, most of which are quaint cobbled streets, are lined for the most part with souvenir shops, cafe’s, and art shops. The entire town has an intense feel of artistry and craftsmanship, and the locals are very proud of their town, and don’t hesitate to show it off.