Walk into the shuk and you will be winded by the mad mix of people. You’ll probably also be pushed aside by an old lady wheeling a cheetah print Safta cart, and then get yelled at by a young Israeli-Arab trying to sell you tomatoes. You’ll step on some old fruit, gag from the smell of fresh fish, and taste a piece of pecan halva shoved into your face by a sales boy. Delicious. You will listen to a man drumming on an array of buckets and cans, and maybe drop him a couple shekels cause’ you think he’s cute. You’ll jump when you bump into a soldier no older than your big brother yet carrying a loaded rifle and think, he’s also cute.
Standing on your tiptoes to see above the sea of heads swimming down the tunnel of the closed shuk, you’ll put up your camera and try to capture the craziness. You’ll pass some freshly baked pita bread and realize you are starving, stand around for a few minutes outside of the shop you chose to eat at, waiting like a hungry lioness to grab someones seat, and then, you will people-watch. This is hands down the best and most exciting activity in the shuk.
Beggars and violinists; businessmen and locals, big groups of rambunctious Americans talking loud, wearing little, and taking a gazillion pictures(some of which you might photo bomb).
See: old arab women with black hijabs and long robes. Young women with black hijabs but also sporting a chic designer bag and striking eyes lined in green.
Beautiful Israeli faces shining from beneath a tower of headscarves so colorful they rival the summer fruits.
Turbans layered so high you recall a beehive; round golden earrings complimenting the honey hues.
Hair covering is a big part of the culture in the Middle East, and every woman has her style.
Some wear wigs so natural you would never even notice, others don hats, and many Israeli women enjoy wrapping. They might wear cushions, called BOBOs underneath the scarves for more height, and match the scarves of their heads to the floor length skirts- or use a bright wrap as an outfit statement. There will be girls with wild curls spilling from the top of an Israeli wrap; women with every strand covered, a scarf pulling dangerously tight at the edges of their face.
This front knot is historically popular among Africa American women in the US, and it is making its way to the fashionistas of the Middle East. These ladies are wearing timeless turban fashions in a new light and showing us that you can stand out in the crowd with something other than the perfect updo. Israeli women who are known for their chic yet modest style- women like Mor Katzir, Aya Kremerman, and Dorit Shushan – are bringing FAB to the streets of Israel.
We don’t have Secret deodorant or Heinz ketchup readily available in the country, but we may as well be on the same fashion page as the rest of the world!
For more turban tutorials check out The MOBO- the Moshav Bow Wrap.