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Egyptian miniature sculptor celebrate art after years of denials, trials

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Belal was introduced to this form of art by chance through social media, and after 20 failed attempts, he managed to sculpt his first piece in the shape of a small heart.

Belal faced many criticisms when he started this work and spends hours in front of the microscope to create his masterpieces. The hardest miniature sculpture Belal made was Tutankhamun's mask because of the "curvy cavity which was very difficult to carve on such a small area" he says.

"When I posted the first pictures of my sculptures on social media, I was surprised by many negative and ironic comments," Belal recalls and justifies this because miniature art is rare and is done by a few professionals.

Belal's sculptures range from Pharaonic models such as Tutankhamun's mask, the head of Nefertiti, and the statue of Amenhotep III, and these sculptures extend to include some modern landmarks of Egypt and some Arab countries.

"There is not enough interest in this art in the Middle East, and I hope to establish the first miniature museum to include the entire history of Egypt, from the Pharaonic era to the present," Belal says.

The sizes of the pencils that Belal works on vary, starting from 0.5 mm to a maximum of 5 mm, and it can take more than 40 working hours just to complete his work on one pencil.

"So far, I have received requests from the United States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to make sculptures for them, but most of the requests are now coming from Egypt," Belal says.

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