This souq (al-Andalus) must have at least 30 hole-in-the-wall shoe shops. Everything is made in China. Not one thing is made of leather.

In Jerusalem the “China market” outside the gates of the Old City has put the local leather artisans at Hebron out of business. Here there is still a huge leather sandal market at the bedouin suq. You can get handmade leather sandals for about SAR 40 or $10. You see the guys here wearing them, and I even have a pair, but I find them unwearable.

These are hand made of leather, with decorative stitching in white flat plastic. They make and sell these at Janadreeya, the folk festival that has a different section of the fairgrounds for each region of the country. And you do see guys wearing them on the street. I got these at the bedouin souk at Dera’a, but the Pakstanis also sell them at Battha — pronounced baht-ha — a huge ethnic neighborhood with lots of markets.


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