Heraf Al Khan App: Your Guide to Khan El Khalili

Enactus AUC has launched a new mobile application called Heraf Al Khan, aimed at helping the vendors at Khan El Khalili reach more audiences online. The application’s main aim is to empower workers in the field of handcrafts by providing them with a free online platform through which people can know more about their products and price ranges, as well as their location and contact details.

The application is very user-friendly and quite direct. After downloading it from the Play Store or Apple Store, you get to choose the category you want to view (Gold, Silver, or Bronze). When you click on any of the categories, you are directed to a list of stores.

After picking the vendor, you find all their contact information, and even samples of the products.

We talked to Enactus Project Manager Mina Mamdouh, to know more about the process of launching the app, the obstacles they faced, and their next steps.

What made Enactus AUC think of the idea of the app?

First, to select an idea in Enactus, we start by identifying a problem in our society. Then we start thinking of different solutions. After that, we pick the most suitable solution that will meet the criteria of selecting a project; we ask ourselves which one of these projects has the most social, economic and environmental impact.

We chose Khan El Khalili because after the revolution in 2011 a lot of people stopped going there due to security issues. In addition, there has been a dramatic decrease in the tourism rate, which left the vendors without sufficient income for more than six years now. Thus, we started thinking about a project that would tackle that problem. So instead of buying accessories from vendors in Heliopolis, for example, people can go to Khan Al Khalili and buy what they want with a similar -or even higher- quality and a better price.

Besides, Khan Al Khalili is one of the most gorgeous touristic places in Egypt.

What struggles did you face?

We have struggled a lot during the implementation of this project. We had a problem with convincing the vendors to take part in our application, even though it is free. Moreover, all the vendors have no technological skills, and so they don't have any photos of their products. Another challenge we faced was that it was extremely hard to add the location of every shop.

What are your future plans for the application?

We are planning to expand the application from having just nine shops to displaying other products that are present in Khan El Khalili -maybe even small coffee shops. Expansion is the key element for the future plans of this project. Our goal is to cover everything there is to see in Khan El Khalili.

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