When visiting Kairo in 1995 we went to the famous Muhammad Ali street were all the old makers workshops are. 
By chance we entered  a very traditional and serious oud workshop established by a Syrian artisan Gamil George early in the 20. century. The new ouds were interesting but what captured my mind and hart was an old dusty instrument hung high on the wall.  (about 4 m)  With some begging and ensuring them I was a fellow luthier they agreed to sell it to me and I could bring home a very light responsive and authentic oud made by a real artist, the label tells:  Gamil George!  I had to repair some cracks and loose bars inside the soundboard and the rose as well. It is later strung in the authentic way and fretless.