Nawal El Messiri received her Ph.D. in Urban Anthropology from Indiana University in 1975. From 1960 to 1980, she was a researcher and lecturer at the American University in Cairo. From 1980 to 1983, she was a Programme Officer at UNICEF. Since I983, she has been working on the management of development projects related to traditional arts and crafts. She is in charge of several rehabilitation projects associated with the restoration of historic monuments.