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Souk Al-Mubarkiah, traditional market in face of high buildings

Souk Al-Mubarkiah
Souk Al-Mubarkiah
(with photos) KUWAIT, May 4 (KUNA) -- Modern construction has mushroomed in Kuwait removing ancient and old buildings and sites, including the famous walls, but there are some places that retain genuine identity and heritage of the country, such as Souk Al-Mubarkia, situated a stone's throw from high-rise buildings that house main monetary institutions.
Aroma of spices, herbs and incense distinguish the vast shopping market of snaking alleys, lines of stores and stands, displaying perfumes, tea, coffee, kitchenware, fish vegetables, shoes, clothes and accessories.
The souk was named after the late ruler, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, said the researcher, Mohammad Jamal, in remarks to KUNA.
One of the oldest sections of the souk is al-Gharballay market that stretches to Abdullah Al-Salem Street. It is adjacent to "Al-Magasees" souk where items are sold at prices lower than those offered at other stores.
Other souks at the shopping place are the souks of arms, al-manakh, al-beshoot, al-jet, sweats, meat and vegetables.
The municipality has carried out diverse changes in features and organization of Al-Mubarkia Souk, such as blocking traffic to some of its alleys to restrict movement for pedestrians, organizing exits and entrances to the market.
In the old times, the market place was formed of shacks and vendors' stands. The first shack, locally known as kichk was built by the late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah. It was located at the eastern entrance of the vegetable market, where the ruler used to meet citizens directly to listen to their problems and requests.
The sheikh used to interact with the ordinary citizens at two shacks. One of them was recently renovated. And, the late ruler used the old office of the municipality, before it was demolished.
The internal market, one of the main sections of the location and the oldest of the markets, had existed for 250 years, and was known as a booming shopping place during era of the late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah.
Jamal said Al-Gharabally market, once covered with palm leaves, used to include eggs' stores, in addition to various other goods.
Al-Manakh market was known as destination site for camel caravans, carrying diverse products from the Levant, Iraq and Al-Ihasaa. Its name was derived from the Arabic term, "Nakha," used in reference to a camel in a sitting posture. Later, it was known as the stock market and till today it included offices for investors, stock and real-estate dealers.
Other attractive parts of the market is souk Al-Beshoot, the traditional dress worn by men in the Gulf region. In other sections of the location, dealers trade in traditional and ancient sweats, such as muscatiah and Rahash As to the meat market, Jamal said it was built in 1894 during era of the sixth ruler of Kuwait, the late Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah.
The arms market still exists nowadays, with about 25 stores, some for repairing damaged guns. (end) mf.tb.rk KUNA 041108 May 12NNNN