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Souqs and Bazaars, Baghdad

You want a souvenir of your visit to Iraq? Baghdad's famous souqs and bazaars have a vast variety of lovely oriental objects. You will find it mostly just off Al-Rashid Street, between Martyrs (Shuhada) Bridge and Ahrar Bridge.

In the Coppersmith SouqOne of the most interesting is the Coppersmith Souq, where copper is still beaten in the old traditional way into pots and pitchers of all shapes and sizes. The noise is great and so is the sight. Shops spill over with copperware for household or decorative uses, to suit all tastes. Primitive, austere, elaborate, highly ornate - take your pick.

Further on you will come to one specialized souq after another in a labyrinth of arcades. Don't miss the Clothiers Souq (Al-Bazzazeen Market) for a delightful sight of yards and yards of colorful material unfurled in beautiful arrangements, or the Rugs souq where hand-woven rugs in striking local motifs and colors are on magnificent display.

Nearby, on the other side of Al-Rashid Street, is the so-called Shorjah market place, one of the most important trade centers of the city. Chock-full of household wares, the place is aromatic with the smell of coffee, tea, spices and soap, and bustles with movement and noise.

Off Al-Rashid Street again, along the river, is Mustanser Street, a woman's paradise for clothes, shoes, handbags, and cosmetics. At one end of it you will find the traditional gold and silversmiths known for centuries for their lovely jewelry.

The are so many souvenirs and gifts which you can buy at the Folklore Center, put up by the Ministry of Culture and Information in Sadoun Street, near Karrada Junction, which has on display a tremendous variety of popular handicrafts from all parts of the country.

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