Khan al-Khalili


Khan al-Khalili


Khan al-Khalili is one of the most important markets in ancient Egypt that tourists are keen to visit; With the aim of perusing the fragrance of ancient history, and buying souvenirs made by skilled workers, Khan Al-Khalili’s reputation abroad became the first stop for every foreign tourist. 

The market, with its history and landmarks, was established in the Fatimid era, and it was a trading circle for merchants from all corners of the world. Nowadays, Khan al-Khalili market is one of the most important old commercial markets, and it is characterized by various types of handicrafts, which cover alleys, streets and storefronts in the khan. Pharaonic and Islamic drawings, Quranic verses written on papyrus, rosaries and arabesques. 

al khan stor
al khan stor

Khan al-Khalili

All of them represent souvenirs accepted by the Egyptians, and Arab and foreign tourists are keen to acquire them and return them to their country. Al-Khan’s shops and shops are distinguished by their specialization in selling one merchandise. 

This sells gold works, another sells Arabesque products, and a third sells imitation Pharaonic antiques. Thus, the visitor can carefully examine the exhibits until he buys what he wants. He continued, “Among the most prominent arts that preserved the khan’s fame and distinguished it from other markets is the manufacture of copper, silver, arabesque, carpets and antiques, in which skilled makers excel. 

Among these industries are dishes, trays, copper and ceramic coffee sets, and shell products such as “Shakmiyah” jewelry boxes, shell tables and chairs. Regarding the clothing industry, Wael Abdel Hamid, the owner of a clothing store, says that it is very popular, especially the pharaonic gowns and shirts bearing drawings of Pharaonic temples. 

The ancient Egyptian burqa, dance allowance and women’s clothing are also sold, pointing to the large presence of European tourists in the Khan al-Khalili market. He added, “The fame of the khan comes from the manufacture and sale of antiques and handicrafts that depend on skilled craftsmen. 

Most of the sales of the khan’s shops are based on “finger art.” There are no modern machines or devices, and it was natural for the sons to inherit the secrets of these industries to preserve them from extinction, and what remains for the khan is its taste and aroma that attracts thousands of Cairo visitors to frequent it and roam.” Buying gifts Natalie Brown, an English tourist, explains that Khan al-Khalili is a suitable place to buy souvenirs, especially handicraft gifts, because of its decorative splendor. 

The ambiance of this unconventional market with a maze of streets allows visitors to have a lot of fun, and the Khan area A suitable place to train tourists in negotiation skills, because the merchants speak several languages, pointing out that if the tourist is from a country that has a world-renowned artist or athlete, he will get a special discount.

Janini Guerlain, an Italian tourist, describes Khan al-Khalili Street as Al-Baha Market, where it has the best types of silver shops in Cairo, which can be bought along with many souvenirs, such as buying perfumes and natural oils, Pharaonic shirts, papyrus, antiques and miniature coffins inside. mummy. 

She explains that visiting Khan al-Khalili also requires visiting the Moski market, to buy curtains, shirts and slippers carved on the wooden or stone way, as well as buying silver, copper, goods, scarves, and beautiful perfume bottles. 

David Washington, an American tourist, says, “Khan al-Khalili is one of the best commercial and historical places in the world. When I visit Cairo, I have to eat cups of tea in colored glass cups with copper bases. 

You can buy decorative plates, small Pharaonic statues, clothes, belly dancing tools and hookahs. and jewelry. And other antiques,” stressing that he feels enjoyment when passing through the maze of dark alleys, where he feels that he is walking through centuries ago. 

In the opinion of Badr Abu Abdullah, from Libya, he is keen, upon his arrival in Cairo, to visit Khan al-Khalili

Khan al-Khalili
Khan al-Khalili

And the Ataba and Al-Mosky markets, where many things can be bought at a cheap price, such as abayas, shirts, shoes, and even books, stressing that women are more keen to visit these markets to buy abayas with an external appearance that has an Egyptian flavor.


Montaser Al-Marzouki, from Jordan, explains that Egypt will remain a country of tourism and history in the Arab world, where you can get souvenirs of handmade carpets and furs, statues of King Tutankhamun from basalt stone, and Aladdin lamps, and tourists can buy amazing souvenirs at low prices. 

Khan al-Khalili is the place to buy a lot of things, from traditional Egyptian clothes to small souvenirs, and from spices to papyrus, even traditional Egyptian sweets stuffed with peanuts, sesame and walnuts. (Arabic Press Agency) Khan Al-Amir The history of “Khan Al-Khalili” goes back to the eighth century AH, when Prince Jaharkes Al-Khalili, in the era of Sultan Barquq, wanted to build a khan to replace the “palace soil” that Al-Muizz Lidin Allah Al-Fatimi built to house the remains of the caliphs before him. And after him, it was known as “the saffron soil”, and Prince Jahreks worked to clear the area from the graves, after the jurists issued a fatwa for him that it was permissible. 

In the encyclopedia “The City of Cairo in a Thousand Years”, Dr. Abdel-Rahman Zaki, a specialist in Islamic history, sheds light on the history of “Khan al-Khalili” by saying: “Khan is a name given to a group of old and new buildings, owned by many individuals, that arose and extended in successive times.” And built roads and alleys in which the dealers of antiques and delicate Arab artifacts. 

Cairo Everything You Need
Cairo Everything You Need

Although this neighborhood was dominated by his affiliation with Jahrax al-Khalili, in fact, there were no buildings related to him left. The Sultan al-Ghauri reconstructed it in the early sixteenth century, and al-Ghuri was not satisfied with rebuilding this khan, but rather built towards it and next to it from the western side. 

Two quarters and two great gates filled with ornaments and marble, and on one of them the name and titles of al-Ghuri are still preserved; Al-Ghouri ordered to prevent the slave trade in the khan, and to transfer it to another market, and this khan was exposed to fire more than once. 

Dr. Abdul Rahman Zaki adds: “After its establishment, the khan was inhabited by a number of Turkish merchants, cooks and sweets makers. 

Khan al-Khalili achieved wide fame, and was frequented by travelers throughout the ages, and many scholars, literature and politics frequented the khan, and history mentions that the leader Saad Zaghloul was one of the inmates of the khan. 

Al-Khan, during his request to work in Al-Azhar, considered it one of the most beloved places to him. Mahfouz wrote many of his works, which were titled with the names of famous places in “Ancient Egypt” such as “Al-Midaq Alley”, “Al-Sukaria”, “Qasr Al-Shouq”, “Between Kasserine” and “Khan al-Khalili”. The cafés near Khan El Khalili, browsing the newspapers or smoking hookah.” Watchful cafes Haj Jamal Abdel Samie, owner of a cafe, says, “The cafes of Khan al-Khalili still witness crowds of people flocking to it from every direction every day.


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