History in the Making
With a history reaching back to 1940, Gawharet El Fan has grown year on year into a truly international and established company. Family-owned since the very beginning, we are proud of our history and heritage as traditional Darbuka manufacturers. Scroll down to discover how it all started, learn about notable moments in our journey, as well as some of the events we have celebrated or overcome along the way…
A Message From Our Global CEO
أفتخر بأنني أنتمي الي عائلة تعشق الموسيقي فأبي و بعض أقاربي كانوا عازفين , و منذ ذلك الوقت بدأ حبي و أهتمامي بالالات الموسيقية, في ٢٠٢٠ , ثمانون عاما و ثلاثة أجيال من عائلة تتطلع دائما لخدمة العازفين و تطوير الالات الشرقية.
عاهدنا العالم علي تقديم أفضل جودة من الالات الموسيقية الشرقية جيل بعد الاخر و نبذل ما بوسعنا لتطوير و نشر الالات الشرقية في كل أنحاء العالم
"I am incredibly proud to be from a family that loves music. My father and many of my relatives were musicians, and because of them, I grew to love musical instruments. Now in 2020, eighty years later, and three generations on, we are a family always looking to serve musicians and produce incredible quality instruments.
We pledge to provide the world with the best quality Middle Eastern musical instruments possible, to do this generation after generation, and to do everything we can to develop and spread these instruments all over the world."
3 Generations Of Excellence
Read through our history and discover how we transformed the world of Arabic Music from 1940 until today. Our business is truly a family run business that has been through a great deal to get to where we are. It has taken generations of innovation, effort, and hard work, and we are immensely proud of what has been accomplished. From our leadership team to our craftsmen, we have always promoted family values and the growth of our team in a healthy and holistic way. It's this mindset that has led to our success.
A Musical Beginning
Mostafa El-Sayed Lotfy, known as Farouk Lotfy, started his journey as a young musician with his newly formed band Musiq Al Kamal Al Wataniyya. Specialising in the clarinet and cornet, Farouk performed at parties and weddings with his brother.
In 1940, Farouk began selling oriental instruments in the famous Muhammad Ali Street of Cairo, a street known as the meeting spot for all amateur and professional musicians. With his musical background, Farouk swiftly gained a reputation as an honest and reliable seller.
Farouk’s second son Abdel-Nasser Lotfy was born in 1960. Abdel Nasser was the one who would go on to change the world of oriental instruments forever with his incredible ideas and strong business acumen.
Abdel-Nasser Lotfy had been constantly surrounded by musicians throughout his youth. While he was not at school, he would be helping his father however he could. He took advantage of his environment and learnt how to play the Oud, becoming the only one of his siblings to play a musical instrument.
In the late 1970s, Abdel-Nasser completed his education and began working with his father full time. With their combined ideas and similar mindsets, Gawharet El Fan began experiencing vast and unprecedented growth. It was in this year that Abdel-Nasser had the idea to use Mother of Pearl designs on the Darbuka, and the Mother of Pearl Darbuka was born.
The Journey to Europe
Abdel-Nasser had been working now at Gawharet El Fan for almost 15 years and had always dreamed of exhibiting in Europe. In 1990, he travelled alone to Germany with only 12 Darbukas and 3 Ouds to meet a friend of his, a music teacher in Munich. This trip was the first taste that Europe had of Abdel-Nasser’s incredible Mother of Pearl Darbuka.
The Passing of Farouk Lotfy
In March 1993, Farouk Lotfy passed away, and the world of Arabic Music lost one of its most extraordinary people. Farouk will always be remembered as the founder of one of the most influential Arabic Music companies of all time. His son Abdel-Nasser took the reigns of the company to lead Gawharet El Fan to even bigger successes.
The Frankfurt Exhibition
With the contacts that he had made in his first trip to Germany, Abdel-Nasser was invited to exhibit the Mother of Pearl Darbuka in Frankfurt in 1996. A tremendous amount of preparation went into creating the products that would be sold in Germany, and to ready Gawharet El Fan for the Western world. It was in this exhibition that the famous marching band logo was used for the first time, the logo that Gawharet El Fan is known for today.
A Decade of Musik Messe
From 1996 to 2006, Gawharet El Fan exhibited annually at Musik Messe in Frankfurt, gaining international renown and attracting contracts from brands from around the world. By 2006, Gawharet El Fan had presence in 13 countries.
A Change of Location
As Gawharet El Fan outgrew its small store in Muhammad Ali Street, Abdel-Nasser decided it was time to move into Cairo's central business district. From here, Gawharet El Fan would establish themselves clearly as Egpyt's most powerful musical instrument store.
Youssef Lotfy, the son of Abdel-Nasser Lotfy, took an official position in his father's company by replicating what his father had done almost 40 years beforehand, by bringing fresh new ideas and innovations to Gawharet El Fan.
The Supply Chain Across Europe
In 2019, Gawharet El Fan established it's supply chain across Europe in partnership with Malik Instruments, an international Darbuka retailer based in London, UK. This supply chain enabled products to be distributed across Europe and solidified Gawharet El Fan's presence in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain & the Netherlands.
International Headquarters in London
Arguably one of the most critical events in Darbuka history took place when Gawharet El Fan merged with Malik Instruments to establish their first international headquarters in Europe. The Export Grade collection was also launched with this merger to create a range of products crafted to the highest standard.