Al-Shanini Marketplace in Taiz HUSTLE & BUSTLE OF A LIVE MUSEUM [Archives:1999/04/Last Page]

January 25 1999

Taiz is one of these few cities in the world gifted with beauty, charm and deeply-rooted culture. It has been recently announced as the cultural capital of Yemen. It is actually dense with many charming landmarks that make one sit up and take note. Let us now go together and see one of its splendid features.
Do you know what it is? As soon as you go through the gate of Bab Al-Kabir you have three directions. The direction on your left will guide you to the Al Mudhafar Mosque, one of the most celebrated and ancient mosques in the Islamic world. The direction in the middle is a street of clothing which will take to the second gate of the old city of Taiz, Bab Musa. And the third direction on your right is the focus of my point here. It takes you to the Al-Shannini market.
Al-Shannini is the most traditional and ancient market in Taiz. Visiting this market is much better than reading books about the history of the city. There one gets close, face to face contact with history and the deeply-rooted cultural heritage of the city. The first thing to be done by tourists when they come to Taiz is to visit this market. Tourists are arrested by the splendor of the market.
Here in this market, there are numerous products and goods. Most, if not all, of the products of all handicrafts being practiced in Taiz are sold at al-Shannini. The scent produced by different kinds of spices can be smelt from a distance. Home-made cheese is a valuable commodity there and is considered to be the first in Yemen in quality. If you are interested in making a hot delicious traditional Yemeni meal, just visit Al-Shannini. Pans and plates made of pottery, clay or reed are very common there. Vendors there are also traditional and even in the way they dress themselves.
I feel really unable to completely reveal the splendor of this market. And it is not even enough to read about the market. A lot of products don’t have equivalents in other countries. Only a visit to the market will set the visitor in a really traditional and ancient museum with a deep and great history.
By: Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi
Taiz Office Editor
Yemen Times