Todays article is solely based on one of the busiest and most visited areas in Hawler (Erbil). Although Hawler is well known for its high rise buildings, fancy restaurants, shopping centres and other famous tourist destination, its hard to miss one of the oldest markets in the region, Qaysari Bazaar. This market is located next to Hawler’s main square, opposite to the Citadel (Qala). When visiting Erbil it is a must to visit the Bazaar as you will really get to experience the true cultural shopping style in Kurdistan. When entering the market, its liking going to a whole new world; much different than your usual saturday Flee market in Canada and most western countries.
The Qaysari Market or Bazaar is truly a treat for anyone who enjoys shopping in old Middle Eastern bazaars. The Bazaar is one the largest covered markets in the Kurdish region and it is amazing what you can find in this place. You can find anything at Qaysari Bazaar and the prices vary throughout the market as some vendors sell products that are knock-offs from China and other Asian producers while others sell authentic things such as traditional jewelry, traditional Kurdish clothing, gold, fresh fruits and vegetables. Depending on what the shopper is looking to buy determines which area of the market people would shop. For example, because vendors are generally grouped together in sections, people do not need spend to much time at the market to find what they are looking for. It is really client accessible. With that being said I cannot ignore the fact that the layout of the Bazaar is extremely confusing. As there are no signs or arrows pointing towards specific areas, one must really go with a person who is extremely familiar with the area to have a successful shopping day. For the locals the layout is not a problem as they are familiar with each corner but for someone who is visiting the case is different. Also, the shopping experience is truly surreal because vibe and culture of the area is enjoyable to roam around.
Personally, when I am walking around the market I cannot help but think about how beautiful this region of Kurdistan is and how rich it is in history. From the beauty of the people to the textile and architecture of the walls it is hard to dismiss the fact that Kurdish culture and way of life is beautiful and rich in history. With world globalization and Kurdistan’s growth, its nice to still have a place to go shop that re-routs you back into your culture and way of connecting with others in Bazaar setting. I have meet such wonderful people there and learned a lot about how things are really done in that part of the city. It is indeed a must see place because you experience a little of everything. My favourite aspect of the market is the fact that there are many vendors that sell handmade traditional Kurdish items such as carpets,shoes, house decors, fabrics among many more.