Al-Shejaya Market

“Hey, what’s up with you?” probably most of you have already started to wonder. Indeed, I’ve been writing about public markets very often recently, and it’s just fun to write about markets, almost as fun as wandering through a public market streets along with your fellows. Penniless.

This will definitely help avoid any misunderstanding where some of you perhaps would think this man is enjoying a fair amount of money than usual and is hanging around at a different market each time.

Following my last visit to the Jabaliya market last week, I thought I could do with another visit to another market in a wholly different direction. I hit the road toward the east, particularly to Al-Shejaya (or Al-Sejaya as my grandmother and many others are used to saying) In fact, this time I looked for no notes to jot down. And although I looked for a brown shirt and gray slacks (yes, I had enough money for that.) I could have found the best of dresses in a closer market than that of Al-Shejaya. However, no market is as charmingly public as Al-Shejaya. No market is as pleasantly populous as that of Al-Shejaya. And those who live at Al-Shejaya know better…

My journey through the market started off as I met a friend at a well-known spot at the gateway of the market if there is any gate at all. I am not sure if it has any name either; all I know is that it is a statue— or something similar to a statue, for in Gaza nothing is certain; all matters are relative— a statue of an eagle looking up into the sky. We met there and advanced inward a well-structured labyrinth of passageways of Al-Shejaya market.

With the spicy aroma of the cow and sheep spleen and liver, enticingly sizzling as it was cooked inside heated stoves, drifting across the air, permeating my palate, and sharpening my appetite, I seated myself before one of these stoves and gazed in the deep inside of it doing my best so as to dodge the disturbing movement of cook’s hands which every now and then cut in my ruminating gazes. Next to me was seated my fellow. We talked so much before we were served as we desired.

It might be of matter of great significance to refer to the fact that this restaurant is a little bit lower than
the ground level, almost two meters, and there is nothing I hated in this underground restaurant as ‘MAX’. MAX is in fact a weird sort of Coca Cola which is served in this restaurant. It is nothing short of a medicine bottle! With that very saccharine taste, it brought me back to my early childhood when, and my eyes tightly shut, I would swallow it thrice a day, like it or not.

A few moments later, leaving our MAX behind, we ascended the stairs to exit the restaurant.

Before al-Maghrib prayer was established, I spent a couple more hours moving from one clothes shop to another until I finally came to find what looked for. I headed back home holding my new stuff in one hand and shooting my friend a message with the other hand. I pressed ‘send’ when I was reported that I need to recharge my credit so as to send this message, but I thought I can write this, instead.

Mohammed Rabah Suliman
July, 25

Al-Saha Statue

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12 responses to “Al-Shejaya Market

  1. the second visit to alshejaeyya market is greater- in description- than the previous one.
    i liked it, really.

    the statue is called: “Palestine circus” = maydaan falesteen

    and yes, the most beautiful market is that of alshejaeyya, Omar elmo5tar street, in particular.
    and alzaawya market is good.

    i heard that alshejaeyya people don’t like the name some old people call them with “SEJAEYYA”, they hate it and prefer using “sh” not “S”

    i think that our grandmothers need to wear dentures to avoid annoying alshejaeyans hhhh. it is just kidding.

    thank you a lot, Mohamed
    by the way, we studied some examples for you in our creative writing class. Mashallah, they are really amazing.

    • In fact, Jabaliya piece was just a mere recording of that experience. I didn’t want to describe anything whatsoever in that piece for my own reasons. anyway, thank you for that, and yes we can agree that Al-Shejaya market is way more beautiful than other markets.

  2. mona, do you think the people their are a bunch of wild animals? circus?!

  3. that is the phoenix by the way! you know, the ash and fire baloney

  4. Hi,

    In fact, i liked the idea of describing public places like markets coz meeting or just watching different kinds of people or things, to scent smells and feel the spontaneous chaos all around is really inspiring.

    In this article, mostly, i felt that spontaneous chaos :p dunno why! maybe, coz I go there many times! and yes, that’s the phoenix.

    This is a very good piece, brother.

    Thanks.

    • Well, it’s not about public places, but everybody can make a sense and of the most trivial matters he goes through turning them into great experiences. Thank you, and it’s great to have you here.

  5. Yousef M. Aljamal

    It’s the best market in the Gaza strip as you find whatever you like to buy there. Hundreds of people who come to buy. You think for the first while that the people of Gaza are very rich as they come there to buy a lot of things. btw, I have a very good experience at that market, once, while I was walking there with my friends , certainly, while we were drinking Kharoub, I found 100 NIS 🙂

  6. Mr. Refaat,

    indeed, i didn’t mean what you mentioned above
    of course, i did not

    i just said “circus” coz i found it in the dictionary with the meanings ميدان – ملتقى شوارع

    so, i chose it

    sorry for any annoyance.

  7. thenk u so much.
    i like the way u can read ur reader’s mind.

    i love this line “for in Gaza nothing is certain; all matters are relative— a statue of an eagle looking up into the sky. We met there and advanced inward a well-structured labyrinth of passageways of Al-Shejaya market.”

    i really like the way u express things we can have in mind but never express it as shud be.
    keep it up. =)

  8. i like your description especially this line”.all I know is that it is a statue— or something similar to a statue, for in Gaza nothing is certain; all matters are relative— a statue of an eagle looking up into the sky. We met there and advanced inward a well-structured labyrinth of passageways of Al-Shejaya market” very nice , thanks

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