Egypt’s largest souq, Aswan Souq, has been struggling to recover from the revolution that affected the tourism industry, according to a report Tuesday in The Egypt Independent.
The souq of Aswan, which is ideally located to nearby tourist locations in southern Egypt, has seen a significant drop in tourists wanting to visit the market for souvenirs and local products, since the revolution’s outbreak in January last year. And they now seem hesitant to return.
Former tour operator, Haitham Ibrahim, who now works as a civil servant, once worked as a tour guide in Aswan’s souq at a time when tourism was at its peak. Ibrahim says the once busy souvenir shop keepers now have their hands in their pockets and watch shoppers coming in to buy household goods like electric kettles and bags of rice.
Mohamed Ali Yassin, unlike Ibrahim, chose to stay in the tourism industry even when it was in decline. Yassin began his career by selling silver to tourists in Aswan souq. When he began 15 years ago Yassin had five kilograms of silver which grew to 70 kilos right before the 2011 revolution. Today he estimates 70 percent of his business has disappeared.
As the tourism industry suffers, so do the terracotta scarabs, alabaster pyramids and pharaonic amulets which are left collecting dust in the Aswan Souq.