Widows, divorcees bemoan delay in opening of ‘Souk Harem’

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: Souq Wajaf, also known as “Al-Harem” Souq, is distinguished as one of Kuwait’s renowned markets and has been in operation over the past 70 years, alongside other heritage markets in Souq Al-Mubarakiya and evolved through various stages, with the latest phase witnessing development, organization, and a new design.

The name “Harem Market” stems from customers where women vendors would sit on the floor, and sell their locally crafted merchandise — mainly produced by Kuwaiti women.

During this period, the municipality allocated stalls to eligible widows and divorcees. Despite the there has been a delay in distributing the stalls pending completion, prompting questions about the reasons for the holdup from concerned authorities.

In a recent visit to the market by the daily, several people shared their perspectives. Umm Muhammad, a second-generation Kuwaiti citizen with 40 years of experience in the market, emphasized the historical significance of the Harem Market, expressing anticipation for the impending distribution of the stalls.

She mentioned that the company responsible for the market’s development had handed it over to the municipality months ago, and the stalls, which number about 86, are awaiting distribution.

Reflecting on the market’s past, Abdullah Al Balushi recalled its unique role as one of the cheapest markets, exclusively staffed by Kuwaiti women. He expressed hope that the stalls would soon be allocated to Kuwaiti women.

Salman Al-Rashoud from Saudi Arabia praised the Harem Market for its traditional offerings at unbelievable prices, highlighting Kuwait’s enduring charm.

Muhammad Abdel Karim expressed his yearning for the reopened Harem Market and questioned the reasons for the delay in distributing stalls to deserving individuals. Another participant emphasized the Harem Market’s historical role as a marketplace for grandmothers and mothers, recalling its simplicity, abundance of goods, and nominal prices.

Finally, Muhammad Al-Harbi acknowledged the Harem Market as a heritage market that portrays Kuwait’s history. He expressed hope for its reopening, suggesting that in its organized and developed form, it would regain its former splendor within the Mubarakiya market.

This news has been read 1568 times!

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