Thu, 02 Feb 2023

by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Sabri Demirci, an artisan and owner of a silver shop in Istanbul, has recently received an unprecedented demand to design a unique product from a Qatari collector.

Every piece of the product should describe Qatar and this year's World Cup, Demirci told Xinhua in a recent interview at his atelier.

The 2022 World Cup kicked off in Doha last month. This is the first time the event has been held in an Arab country.

The artisan has never been that excited throughout his 40-year career. Soon after getting the order, he buried himself in work and collected as much information as possible.

Then he came up with the idea of giving the leading role in his entire design to a falcon.

"We learned that falcons are the national bird of Qatar and are always cherished by the Qatari people. This idea of keeping the falcon and its powerful claws on top of the design was my starting point," said Demirci.

He then depicted the falcon holding the official World Cup soccer ball with the names of the participants on it. Below he installed the infinity sign, the competition's official logo, reflecting the event's interconnected nature.

In perfect harmony, he placed these pieces on a marble map showing Qatar's cities and stadiums.

"The marble plate, which expresses Qatar's underground wealth, is carried by four horses, symbolizing strength and loyalty," Demirci said.

The soccer ball was made of approximately 200 grams of 18-carat gold, the artisan said, adding that he used about 4.5 kilograms of 925 sterling silver for the rest of the product.

"We will perhaps produce ten different variations of this product," Demirci said, adding there "won't be the eleventh."

The artisan has also been designing Qatar-related souvenirs to be sold in shops during the event.

Demirci's previous designs, such as antibacterial masks made of pure silver and gold, were produced in limited numbers during the pandemic.

According to Murat Tufan, an analyst with Turkish broadcaster Ekoturk, the World Cup is one of the most prominent sporting competitions in the world, given its fusion of different cultures.

The analyst noted that Demirci's designs were informative, highlighting the importance of the falcon for Qatar, the host cities and the stadiums.

"His design is essential for us (Turkish people) to understand Qatar more closely," he noted.

Demirci's popularity has grown after delivering his creation to his Qatari client. A series of interviews in which he talked about his design was broadcast on various television channels.

Tufan said Demirci's detailed work serves a meaningful purpose. "He reminded the world of the importance of craftsmanship as a profession, which has been long forgotten in today's globalized and materialized world."

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