Imports weaken Jordanian makers of handmade shoes - in pictures

Once called the King of Shoes, Jamil Al Kopti, 90, fears cheap imports are killing off his craft after decades of fashioning footwear for kings and queens

Jamil Al Kopti, the oldest shoemaker in Amman, works at his workshop in Jordan's capital. The 90-year-old says his profession began to decline dramatically in the past five years after imported shoes started flooding the market.

Jamil Al Kopti now has just five craftsmen, including the one pictured above, employed at the workshop in Jordan's capital.

Jamil Al Kopti gave the late King Hussein four pairs of shoes in 1961. His clients include Charles de Gaulle, King Abdullah II, and most of Jordan's princes and princesses, as well as top politicians and military officers.

Shoemaker Zuhair Shiha busies himself at his workshop in Amman. The number of footwear makers in Jordan has come down from about 250 to 100 over the years.

Shoemaker Zuhair Shiha prepares leather at his workshop in Jordan's capital Amman.

Youssef Abu Sarita, one of Zuhair Shiha's employees, fears he may lose his job of 50 years in the face of cheaper imports.

Updated: November 23rd 2021, 11:22 AM