Shopping for presents in Araby...

Sharjah Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 17 › view all entries
Walkway along the grounds of the American University of Sharjah

Didn’t get back to Mark’s home in Sharjah until after 3PM, so John and I quickly showered and re-packed for the return flight beginning in a few hours.  Ready to roll, Mark, Samia and Maya took us for a quick tour around the American University of Sharjah.

 

What a treat to see Mark’s endeavors realized.  Six years ago his Student Center was a construction jungle and the College Library little more than a massive hole in the ground.  Today these were immaculate beauties and I was happy to enjoy Mark’s pride in completing these grand projects.

But no time to dally, it was off to the Blue Souk and this was just like my first visit, a rush-rush shopping spree before the return flight home.  Once again we battled traffic into the souk, but once again arrived with sufficient time for shopping.   There is no way to describe the confidence I have when shopping with Samia and happily entered the familiar pashmina merchant’s shop.  We didn’t sit for tea this time, but entered directly into negotiations and came away with some beautiful scarves.

 

Immediately we steered to Samia’s jeweler in search of black pearls.  Last trip I had purchased pure gold jewelry for my wife from the Gold Souk and wanted to get something different this time.  Dubai has a long history of pearl diving, so that seemed ideal.  Samia’s jeweler had plenty of black pearls, but the size and coloring varied considerably.  No worries --- just pick out a long strand and he would create a matching set of necklace, bracelet and stud earrings on the spot!


This final stop reinforced my notions of the graciousness of Arabic people.  Manufacturing all of our items real time was time consuming and after an hour Samia told Mark he should take their daughter Maya away to get something to eat.  Our jeweler raised his had to signal they should stay put and grabbed his phone while continuing to work.  Within five minutes a guy walked into the shop with a tray holding a glass of juice and sandwich.  Just unbelievable.


On our way out of the souk Mark suddenly realized he had forgotten to ask for a pearl that Maya could put in the jewel box necklace he had purchased for Maya in Nizwa, so Samia and Maya raced back to the jeweler’s shop, returning moments later with the gratis pearl.  A beautiful exclamation point to summarize a fantastic journey.




vances says:
I am missing my middle eastern friends as well --- marhaba, YES....ma'a salaama NO!
Posted on: Mar 13, 2010
jenn79 says:
LOVE this story! Am missing my middle eastern friends in Bangui and Turkey now =(
Posted on: Mar 13, 2010
osgoodst says:
very cool; i might do some gold shopping myself
Posted on: Mar 12, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Walkway along the grounds of the A…
Walkway along the grounds of the …
Marks Library at the American Uni…
Mark's Library at the American Un…
Exquisite mosque at American Unive…
Exquisite mosque at American Univ…
Security is no problem at the Amer…
Security is no problem at the Ame…
Samia, Mark & Maya
Samia, Mark & Maya
Blue Souk, Sharjah
Blue Souk, Sharjah
Fashioning a matching set of black…
Fashioning a matching set of blac…
strings of pearls....
strings of pearls....
Samia and John intent on jewelry a…
Samia and John intent on jewelry …
Entertaining Maya while we wait fo…
Entertaining Maya while we wait f…
Sharjah Sights & Attractions review
Blues for Allah
The Blue Souk (also known as the Central Market) in Sharjah is a conglomeration of roughly 600 retail shops, a blend between traditional souk and mode… read entire review
Sharjah
photo by: vances