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Contrasts do not always imply conflict. Discovering the creative powers latent in the charged field between Islam and the West, the fashion designer Susanne Kumper has established a 'Fashion Department' at Helwan University in Cairo. Collaborating with the men and women she teaches there, she has been working since 1999 on casual wear geared to the Western tastes as well as fashions that cater for the need to veil the body as prescribed by contemporary Islam. This is not at all a contradiction in terms for her female students - who often wear the veil - but an enrichment, as Susanne Kumper is the first to admit. Studying fashion design gives students a chance to suceed in the international fashion trade. Supported by textiles firms such as Olsen, the German embassy in Cairo and the German co-operative development agency CIM, the design student's work is presented to the public on the catwalk and at exhibitions. In addition, Bedouin women from the valleys of the Sinai do traditional embroidery for modern outfits designed by the students and their teachers in Cairo.
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