« Growing older? | Main | Science and God »

November 19, 2007

Exploring Tripoli

The Souk, or market, in any Arabic country is always fascinating. Essentially if it is saleable, they will have it, can get it and will sell it. The Old Souk in Tripoli is now mainly aimed at the tourist market, being next to the harbour and located in the bits of Tripoli on everyone's "must see" list, this makes sense. Yet you can still find the craftsmen and the sort of stock lists that make your eyes water.

Souk courtyard.JPG
One of several courtyards in the Souk. Jewellery, momentoes, rugs, prayer mats and Roman pottery jostle one another on sale.

Down one of the many alleys can be found the metal workers. The din is indescribable and probably exceeds the EU Health and Safety noise levels by several degrees, but it is fascinating to see metals being worked in the traditional manner. Copper sheets are hammered into bowls, sheets of brass become ewers and small cups even as you watch. The tools may be basic, but the skills are highly developed.

Coppersmith at work.JPG
A coppersmith at work - the din is audlible some distance away.

Brass ewer in the making.JPG
Decorated brass being turned into a ewer in a workshop which houses a forge, a smelting furnace and the workbenches to create this sort of item no bigger than ten feet deep and about eight wide. Don't ask about fume extraction ...

Definitely a place to revisit with more time and a better organised itinary.

Posted by The Gray Monk at November 19, 2007 10:21 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: