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Tuesday, September 27

Calls Of Peddlers

Between alleys and markets, vegetables vendors used to come loading their mules with fruits and vegetables riding to the city from their farms. Every few moments they would cry out, monotonously naming their wares, they used to have special calls and songs on fruits and vegetables calling each by a special phrase, nowadays a lot of these calls have vanished, some are rarely still used although most of these traditions are totally forgotten, but you might hear some of it here and there in some old parts of Damascus…

- For example They used to cry out about selling cucumbers, “Isabe3 el Bubu ya khyar” which means it is very small like the baby’s fingers!
- Watermelon: “3al miksar ya battekh”, or “3al sikkeen”, here it means that the vendor is very much sure of the quality of the watermelon he sells, so you can cut it with a knife and see how juicy red flesh it is.
- Banana: “Abu n2ta ya moze” which was a famous kind of banana that has small black dots on its skin.
- grapes: “ Zaini ya 3enib” or “Derani ya 3enib” which are the palaces where they come from.
- Quince: “ Lil ma3oud ya sfargel” means quince for jam.
- Tarragon: “khayen” means traitor, they called it traitor because it is known that they planet it in a place while it grows in another place.
- beetroot: “ 3asal 3asal” it means honey, in other ward, it tastes sweet like honey.
- eggplant: “ Aswad metel el leil ya baitenjan” it means that these eggplants are black like the night which is a good sign!


  • Hehe, nice idea!

    I like the one they use for peach: La tshal7o, byeshla7 la7alo........."do not undress it, it undresses itself", in indication to the soft and thin peel that can be easily removed.

    Thanx :)

    By Blogger Ihsan, at 27/9/05 8:11 AM  

  • i remember this one :
    grapes " baladi ya 3enib"

    By Blogger Linux Juggler, at 27/9/05 9:33 AM  

  • well maybe this is gonna be out of the topic that ghalia brought up ... but you can not go through popular alleys and markets withtout an old man selling some sandwithces on his lil bicycle ....
    those sandwitches are made of the inner parts of the meat of sheep's head and different parts of its body .. and he's yelling ( Nifa el Ras ) which means that it's cooked very well so it's so juicy :D ... Bon Appétit

    By Blogger GraY FoX, at 27/9/05 12:18 PM  

  • Yeah I like the peach one, whenever I hear it I just can't stop laughing.

    By Blogger Sinan, at 27/9/05 1:43 PM  

  • don't forget about the "tamari w ka3k" :D

    By Blogger Ahmad Nassri (i N F i N i T E), at 28/9/05 9:09 AM  

  • Nice post Ghalia :)

    @grayfox: ... ewwww :P .. i would never eat that thing.

    @Ahmad Nassei: Ya I used to love "tamari w ka3k" after school :).

    By Blogger Hasan Bazerbashi, at 28/9/05 11:27 AM  

  • lol...when i was lil n' we used to come here for the summer...my fav. memory was waking up to the sound of "TANABER"...

    By Blogger Sharks, at 1/10/05 12:54 PM  

  • you know one thing I really enjoy doing in Syria is going to those 3aseer places and buying a large glass of juice...

    By Blogger Omar, at 4/10/05 5:48 AM  

  • Back in the day in Aleppo, they used to yell "banjan taitfee" which apparently meant tomatoes. I'm not sure where that came from. I haven't been back there for 15 years now. I do miss the street vendors on mules.

    By Blogger Dima, at 17/10/05 5:46 PM  

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