You Don't Have to Go to the Khan El-Khalili
By Dr. Maged El-Bialy
True. You do not have to go the Khan or Hussein to buy pottery or hand made products. If you are the type of person who does not like to go to crowded places then Bashayer and Om El Saad are the places to be. The Bashayer shop is one of those little treasures in the desert type of stores. Om El Saad is a much smaller shop concentrating on hand made jewelry only. Both shops are neighbors situated in the busy heart of Dokki, Cairo. Both shops are a partnership of people who have been in the business for quite a long time. These shops will surely leave each visitor walking out with at least one delightful item. The quality of the products is outstanding. Started over 12 years ago, Bashayer and Om El Saad still receives 95% of its customers from word of mouth. These shops are simply too good to be missed, and people tend to tell others the same.
Bashayer is an Arabic word meaning "Expecting something good" and that is exactly what you will find. The best words to describe the products are "unique" and "charming". Everything found in the shop is all Egyptian made; coming from various locales all over Egypt. The store is well laid out featuring 4 nicely spaced levels and a remarkably large variety of fares. With out doubt, Bashayer is decorated in Arabic style, so you feel like you have entered a house in the old Islamic or the Memlouk era. You can even smell incense as you roam the place. The staff was found to be extremely attentive and friendly. You are free to roam around and explore the shop without any sort of pressure. Quite nice is the professional packaging by which your purchase items is given to you. Larger or delicate items are boxed, and small expensive items are put into velvet bags.
Mohamed Shabib, who is one of many partners in the Bashayer shop, explains to us that most of his clients are Egyptians, not foreigners. However, while talking to Mr. Mohamad a couple of foreigners came in but they are most probably residents in Cairo. Items found within the shop are too comprehensive to either list fully or to describe properly. But quickly one can find a quality range of uniquely design items such as ceramics, wooden carvings, luxurious Islamic designed jewelry, cooper lamps, pottery and tea/coffee sets, bags of all kinds, thick carpets not often found in other stores, fabrics and so on. Perhaps only photos can show best what is contained in the Bashayer store.
This shop is definitely a five star presentation, and surely everybody will find something to his or her tastes. You will not be disappointed. The shop also has an adjacent shop next door which specializes in unique jewelry, both owned by the same team of people. Items can also be shipped overseas if needed..
Om El Saad is like the little sister of Bashayer. In Egypt, the name Om El Saad is a name given to a woman who brings good fortune to her family so she is some kind of " Good Luck Charm". It is a tiny place where the entrance is made from arabesque design. It made me feel like its the place to go to if you have to buy something quickly and you do not have much time. There is a large assortment of silver, bangles, necklaces, and rings, as well as pottery and brass. The quality of the products is not less than that found in Bashayer.
Bashayer and Om El Saad, are the only two shops in Dokki that sell good quality hand made Egyptian products. If you happen to be in Dokki, do not miss these stores. If you get to meet Mr. Mohamad Shabib, do not forget to tell him that you heard about his shop through Tour Egypt. Have fun!!!
Bashayer and Om El Saad 58 Mosaddak St., Dokki
Partner/Manager: Mohamed Shabib
Last Updated: June 8th, 2011
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