Live from Erbil- Lets go to Tayrawa!!

The greatest, most Loyal Blog Reader in the entire universe!!Now, don’t you just feel special being my guest in this blog today?

A butcher in Tayrawa – Erbil (Hawler)

OK. So, what have I been up to lately? Oh God where do I start. I want that perfect Jli Kurdi* so I asked good friend DS to help me find the rightt material, because she just happens to always wear the most beautiful Kurdish dresses, even at home.

I knew it was going to be a great day out when she told me in this super excited voice “hmmm you want material for Jli Kurdi? Then lets go to  Tayrawa!”  And that’s how the afternoon began- at Tayrawa. I dressed more modestly than I usually do (something longer on my jeans and nothing with short sleeves) only because Tayrawa is different  to other shopping areas in Erbil- I realized DS and her sister had also thought the same.

In search for material for Kurdish clothes in Tayrawa

Anyway. DS is just as crazy about being in Kurdistan–no wonder she’s my friend–and she loves all these places in Erbil that still have the traditional feel to it. We went around looking for material for Kurdish clothes, though we didn’t find what we were looking for, but I had the time of my life. You would walk the main street (which is so busy and hectic with all the cars- OH YES THERE IS NO PARKING!!!) pass all the shops and you smell torshiyat*, then walk a bit more and its the smell of meat–not that I like it, but it gives a very different feel to the whole shopping experience– then there are the people who are very different to the individuals you might see sitting in a coffee shop in Family Mall or at Costa[RICCCA].

Finding a car park is the worse problem you can face in Tayrawa.

 This area is usually cheaper than other shopping places around Erbil and also things like fruit and vegetables are fresh. The local market has a proper Kurdish feel to it. No it is not perfectly clean, nor is it the best experience for a girl in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt but if you can blend it it is better than any Family Mall experience. Basically, the three of us would walk and our conversations were like this:

DS: (Breathes in deeply) Saz I love it here. Can you smell the turshi?
SM: aaaaah yes, Turshi (huge smile and taking in deep breaths) Is that a Gucci hand bag (pointing to a little shop)
DS: ((Breathes in deeply, thinking I love it here) Yes, for 15 hazar dinar! Look at the food
SM: Kche I love it dirty, unhygienic gaas. Lets have ice cream!!!

Gaas sandwich restaurant in Tayrawa

Aaah. Yes!!  The ice cream!!! Usually I would either have a falafl or a gaas sandwich with everything in it including onions, tomatoes, pickles and what ever else there is but since our stomachs were not screaming for food there was a great alternative. Now, this is not the healthiest milk ice cream you have had in your life, but the taste is so unique to three places: Iskan, Tayrawa and the shops surrounding the outside of the qaysari bazaar near the citadel.

Just ask for mushakal (mixture of all) though I love the green the most!!! YUM!

Somethings in Erbil are best the traditional way. Somethings I just don’t want them to change. Somethings must and need to stay as they are. No matter how much we progress and develop, no matter how many fancy buildings and malls we have there is no place like Tayrawa. With all its shortcomings it gives a true insight to the lives of many Kurdish families in Erbil.

A lady who just bought fresh samoon from the nanawa (bakery) for her family.

As we began to leave just before sunset this lady got my attention. Like many others, she had left home to walk to the local bakery and get bread for dinner. I am sure she had cooked a meal at home already. I have so much respect for these women.

Next time you’re in Erbil try to leave the malls for a while and give Tayrawa a chance. You won’t regret it.

Until next time

* Jli Kurdi is the Kurdish word for the traditional Kurdish clothes. Turshi is closest to the English word Pickles though I don’t know if it is exactly the same or not.
All pictures were taken by either me or DS from my BlackBerry only and exclusively for this blog. I promise to improve my photographs! Special thanks for DS for leaving her son and spending the afternoon with me (DY too).


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