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Darb el-Barabra: Old Cairo’s Market of Perfect Deals

August 17, 2022

Enter Darb el-Barabra: glistening chandeliers light the narrow alley that is lined with shops. The perfect place for those who seek a good steal, it is a one-stop market that welcomes visitors from all over Egypt – Darb el-Barabra is the destination for happy occasions. Tucked in a winding alley between Al-Azhar Street and Al-Ataba Square (Cairo), Darb el-Barabra dates back to the 19th century, but opinions have differed on the origins of its name. Some refer its origins back to the Berber tribes, while others attribute the name to the Nubian workers who came to work in Cairo at the beginning of the 19th century. Besides offering a unique shopping experience, Darb el-Barabra teems with history, as it used to be inhabited by Jews, Greeks, and foreign merchants who are believed to have introduced the chandelier and antiques industry in Cairo. The place also houses a remarkable Catholic church and a deserted Jewish synagogue. Yet, the area is particularly famous for shops that cater to shoppers of all needs. From bridal necessities and sebou’ sweets and bonbonnieres, to brass lamps and crystal chandeliers, there isn’t a need that Darb…

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