A perfect place to go spend some time with family and friends is Shaqlawa. The Kurdish city of south Kurdistan is known for its tourist resorts and amazing bazaar which sells Kurdish sweets, nuts, dried fruits, Kurdish natural gum, among many other things. Although those items can be found and bought in any Kurdish city in Kurdistan, Shaqlawa is well known for its traditional sweets and nuts.

When I first arrived in Kurdish in March 2015, I went directly from Erbil International Airport to Shaqlawa where my parents had rented a cottage on top of the mountain which oversaw thecity. We spent 3 days there for Newroz and on one beautiful night we ahead out to the famous bazaar  area of the city. It was extremely packed with tourists from all over the world and the number of Arabic tourists were hundreds.Usually on weekends and holidays the bazaar streets are usually closed so that people can enjoy site seeing and shopping without worrying about passing cars. Since it was Newroz (the Kurdish New Year), it was really hard for us to shop and the waiting list for restaurants are usually hours. I decided then and there that I will revisit when its not a major holiday.

The second time I visited was amazing. On a beautiful sunny day, I got together with some friends and family and we drove down Shaqlawa to get away from the busy city life. It was as great as the first time I visited. I really enjoyed the vibe of the small city and the fresh air it brought along with it. We decided to drive through the old city streets and what we saw was quit breath taking.  As we got closer to the city centre where the bazaar is located I could not help but feel a little disappointed with the area. I was feeling like this because what was once a home I lived in with my family was now demolished and turned into a parking lot and the big Kany (spring water) that ran along the house was gone. Although I only lived their during my early childhood, the stories passed down to me have stuck with me throughout the years. Shortly then we reached our destination. We parked the car and walked our way down the streets where touristic restaurants, shops, art stores stood along the side with bright colourful lights and beautiful music.  It was not as busy as the first time I went which made it easier to access the stores and get a seat at the restaurants.

We definitely shopped a lot no one went home empty handed. Over the trip was great. The people were friendly and I can honestly say it was one of the best days I have had. Spending time with family and friends is fun, we laughter a lot, eat a lot, shopped a lot. I could not have asked for a better evening in Shaqlawa. The city treated us well.Overall, the city is a must see location for sure because it contains beautiful waterfalls, springs, trees and it has a lot of greenery.  Shaqlawa’s beautiful whether will make your stay even more pleasant while you are enjoying the cities restaurants and street vendors.


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