From 'futuwwa' to an old man, what batons stand for in Qena

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Wed, 18 Jul 2018 - 12:01 GMT

Sabri Sayed selling batons in Qus, Qena - Egypt Today/Wael Mohammed

Sabri Sayed selling batons in Qus, Qena - Egypt Today/Wael Mohammed

CAIRO – 18 July 2018: "God have mercy on the time of young manliness (Futuwwa)" this is what Sabri Sayed, a batons salesman says to passers-by while selling his products in Qus, North of Qena Governorate.

Sabri Sayed, a 42-year-old batons salesman in Qena, said that he came to El Wekala area at a young age to sell his products to by-passers. He added that everyone needs batons; some people need them for support while walking, while others use them as a sign of prestige.

It is originally a weapon used for protection; its purposes developed with time. Batons are also used in carnivals and in Tahtib competitions (fighting art) during the Sidi Abdel-Rahim al-Qanai and Sidi Abu al-Hajjaj carnivals in Luxor, where two people compete using their batons. One competitor's baton shatters at the end, making the other contender a winner.

3Sabri Sayed selling batons in Qus, Qena - Egypt Today/Wael Mohammed

He pointed out that batons and sticks have many types and uses. There is the thin stick which is used by carriage riders or donkey and camel riders and it serves as a tool for guiding the camel or the donkey.

There is also the truncheon which is thicker and larger; helping elder people walk is among its many uses, while the young ones use it for defense purposes.

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Sabri Sayed selling batons in Qus, Qena - Egypt Today/Wael Mohammed

Sayed noted that most Qus residents carry the truncheon or the stick around with them.
The salesman concluded by saying that the prices of the batons and the sticks differ according to their types.

The sticks used by carriage and camel riders are the least expensive since they are small in size; their price doesn’t exceed LE 50. The batons used by elderly people cost about LE 70, while the ones used in Tahtib competitions costs between LE 100 - LE 150 as they come in various aesthetic designs.

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