In my experience, there are two types of people — those who relish the thought of digging through crap to find treasure, and those who would never step foot into the crowded, ramshackle set up that is Souk Al Ahad. I alternate between these groups of people.

One the one hand, I found a genuine snakeskin clutch, some vinyls, and a pair of vintage aviator sunglasses there; but on the other hand, I have also been harassed and have smelled odors that my nose had not yet experienced. You can find a few cool things here and there, but venture at your own risk.

There is a wealth of, shall I say, crap, at Souk Al Ahad that has me going “hmmm…” every time I make the trip. Have you ever wondered if you should be wearing converse or stilettos, and really caught between the two? Fret no more, for you can have both in the same shoe.


1. The converse stiletto



Do you find yourself riding the line between casual and fancy? Look no further. Behold the converse stiletto. This piece of footwear is made for those who like to look effortlessly chic, like they didn’t think twice about putting on their outfit, but still exude style.

2. The questionable tattoo artist



Please don’t do it. You have so much to live for. Every time I walk by, I wonder how many people look at this stand and think getting a tattoo at Souk Al Ahad is a grand idea. If you want to contract a strain of hepatitis, though, this place is for you.

3. The questionable falafel



Again, please don’t do it. You have so much to live for. Souk Al Ahad is a place that is warm. Uncomfortably warm in the summer, with all sorts of smells rising from different stands, whether it is the smell of cheap cologne, or something you can’t quite put your finger on. There are lots of other places to get falafel. Try: every other place in the country.

4. The sandpaper jeans



Sometimes, you get sick of your Levi’s and your Citizens of Humanity jeans. Where is the fun in jeans that don’t scratch you from the inside?

5. Glamor perfume from the 80s



Behold. Charlie is a perfume from 1973, launched to compete with the perfume Estée by Estée Lauder. It is quintessentially 70s/80s, a staple of its time. Lucky for you, you can find a random old bottle of this priceless gem at — you guessed it — Souk Al Ahad.

6. The pants-less mannequin



The dude selling this jacket has got spunk. He’s bold. He wants to sell you this jacket, but he also wants you to remember him. He wants to remind you that while some people have jackets, it does not mean that they have pants. In short, this man is a marketing genius with a conscience.

7. The horse with no ears



You know that song, ‘A Horse With No Name’? Well this is kind of like that. Except with no ears. Sometimes you pick things up at Souk Al Ahad and worry about the person who would actually end up buying the damn thing (I bought the damn thing.)

8. A peacock



So there aren’t any animals there anymore, thankfully, but at one horrific time in Souk Al Ahad’s history, there were hundreds of animals in the outside section of the market. I’m not sure what happened to them, but I am hoping that a multitude of complaints saved the little critters from the cages they were confined to. All that aside, I found a peacock there. Dumbfounded, I stared at the peacock, stared at the owner, stared back at the peacock, and alternated between the two for a few minutes. What the hell is a peacock doing in a place where you can buy fake shampoo and brass knuckles?

9. This amazing perfume



I cannot say anymore than the title says. The selection of fragrances in Souk Al Ahad is a sight to behold.

10. Some actual cool stuff



For all the fun I’ve made of this place, I’ve gotten lucky with some cool finds. I’ve found some cool baskets, a painting that looks eerily like Gladys from Friends and freaks my mom out, coin earrings, and lots of books. You’ve gotta dig. Just please, stay away from the tattoo stand.

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