At the robust age of 87, Edgard Chaya is reviving the tradition of handmade mosaic tiles in Lebanon.
Stubbornly resisting sizeable offers to expand and automate the production process at his company, Blatt Chaya (Chaya Tiles), he views himself as the guardian of a fragile piece of Lebanese architectural heritage that is rapidly being destroyed.
"He's very passionate about the human element that goes into the making of his tiles; for him, there's no point in using machines just to make more money," Chaya's granddaughter, Youmna, told Al Jazeera.
When you walk into any Lebanese home built between the early 1880s and the 1940s, the first thing you are likely to notice are the intricately designed and colorful terrazzo handmade tiles underneath your feet. In a time before carpets were fashionable, these cement tiles were the chic way to give a home a unique identity and some color.