Desperate times call for desperate measures. Many Syrian refugees have unfortunately learned that the hard way. Regardless of their level of education, or the careers they may have had back at home, many Syrian refugees in Egypt have resorted to selling food on the street to make a living. Their food is homemade, clean, and absolutely delicious. Here’s a list of great Syrian street vendors to keep an eye out for.
6th of October
In 6th of October, if you go in front of Seoudi supermarket, you will find a group of well-dressed young men. They all look very polished and are extremely well mannered. They sell delicious Syrian sweets. Some of them have told us they’re studying. One in particular is studying pharmaceuticals, alongside their work here, while others have put their education on hiatus until things get better. When asked if they are bothered or harassed at times, they nonchalantly said that although it happens, it’s not that often. Their delicious sweets aren’t the only service they provide. They also sometimes sell their goods in front of Arkan Mall and Arabia Mall. They also make Syrian “tabeekh”, and deliver it to customers. They also sometimes sell their goods in front of Arabia Mall. If you wish to contact them, call 01067414565.
“the Hajj is always there in front of 7 Stars Mall, selling the most delicious baraze’ we’ve ever had”
When we went to 7 Stars Mall searching for the Syrian vendor everyone recommended to us, we didn’t need to look for long. The appetizing display of ravishing desserts caught our eye immediately. It takes skill to have a beautiful display when all you have is a car! Standing by them were two men, one of them a sweet elderly man, and the other a young one called Abdel Ilah, acting as his assistant. Abdel Ilah has considered leaving to Europe, then dismissed the idea as he learned from his friends who lived there that they are unhappy. We learned that he no longer with the “Hajj”, as he calls him. However, the Hajj is always there in front of 7 Stars Mall, selling the most delicious baraze’ we’ve ever had, alongside many other desserts.
This lady’s little stand caught our attention, since it was unlike the other vendors to actually make a stand. They usually just carried their goods or displayed them on cars. However, this lady made a little place for herself on the sidewalks of Maadi. She sells homemade desserts and Syrian food that you are bound to fall in love with. She told us that she thought Egyptians were very kind. She enjoyed living in Egypt, but complained about the increasing prices. She misses her hometown Halab, but in the meantime, is providing a delicious service in the heart of Maadi. Her little stand is always there at Port Said st, in front of Al Thakanat School.
“they know we are hardworking women trying to feed our children”
We were led to the Rab’aa intersection and told there we will find ladies who sell delicious Syrian sweets. We were surprised to find four or five ladies of varying ages. The eldest, and the one who seemed in charge, agreed to talk to us. She told us she was from Halab, and that after her husband died in the war in Syria, she came here. She is eternally grateful to how when people buy her sweets, they seem happy, “they know we are hardworking women trying to feed our children”, she tells us. Her son is around 18 years old and tried to work selling koshary and as a construction worker (3attal), but is now unemployed and she can’t afford to put him in college. She has two girls and three boys, works with her girls at night to make her delicious appetizing sweets, and sells them all day at Rab’aa intersection. She is always there and the people in Nasr City know her well as she has been doing this for four months.
All photography done by Fareeda El Kholy. Check out her Instagram for more of her work