Saida Old Souk
Rafic El Hariri
All Purpose Shopping in Saida's Old SoukA souk is simply any market in a middle eastern city. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be as modern as a mall. However to get a real flavor of the middle eastern shopping, you need to seek out the old souks which is exactly what I did in Southern Lebanon.
Between the Sea Castle and the Castle of St. Louis stretches the old town of Saida (Sidon) in Lebanon. There you'll find the the picturesque vaulted souk, where workmen still ply their trades.
The Saida souks have been recently refurbished but keep their old charm with the original architecture and tiny stall designs. You'll find clothing, hardware, homemade soap, wood working, shoes, furniture, falafel, and even lingerie. You can easily whittle away a whole day in the souks searching for a unique souvenir.
It's not just about shopping, it's about people. I walked through the maze of alleys getting lost in dead ends and having locals invite me into their homes; as with the rest of Lebanon, everyone was eager to meet me and show off their hospitality. Bakers gave me sweets, people invited me for tea, kids smiled, and the police men even waved at me.