Tripoli ma ville

Let me tell you the story of an ancient city, a city so rich in its heritage that each and every tiny alley is a time witness despite the fact that it’s getting poorer and more neglected by the minute. It’s sad really, because if you don’t surround yourself with love, nothing will mean anything anymore. Love is the key, and its roots should grow deeper and fonder to embrace the history of the city that one lives in, in my case: Tripoli.

As you already know by now, the “We Love Tripoli” association organizes tours in the old city (shoot as you walk) & this Sunday event is for passionate people. That’s right. Some people join in because of their passion to photography, others for the love of the journey itself & the friendly company. What other motive could there be to sacrifice a good morning sleep?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go this time. But Nour.K insisted, so I couldn’t possibly resist. The thing is, we keep on going to the same places, but from different paths and I have already photographed the weird architecture along with the historical monuments with people in the souk so many times (it’s journey 24). So this time, I tried to benefit from the journey in a different way.

I decided to take photographs of people more than those of places and it’s amazing how eager kids were to be part of the procedure. I also decided to write down every bit of information Taha.N was giving so I can retell it to anyone who cares enough to read this entry.

We headed to “Beb El Ramel” and the first stop was in “Zoukak Saf El Blat” and as the name implies, the alley was paved with tiles all along. Then, it was “Zoukak Al Kawekji” named after the Sheikh Abou El Mahasen Kawekji as I was told. Next, it was “Sahat Al Deftar” which is originally “Defterdar”, as a Turkish reference for a deanery in the Ottoman reign.

Then it was “Zoukak El Dabebseh” and I love the name’s origin. Some time in the past, there lived a sheikh in that area. He had a disciple who had done bad deeds and wanted to repent. So the sheikh told him to stick a pin in the ground and come back the following year. If grass grew around the pin, it’s a sign of Allah’s acceptance of his repentance. And so he did what he was asked to, a year later, green grass grew all around it. This is why it was called “Zouk El Dabebseh” (dabebseh (plural) reference to dabbous (singular), Arabic for pin) this is also the origin of “Dabbousy” family.

Another zoukak with another interesting story is “Zoukak El Hajjeh”. It’s named after the principal of a school that taught foreign languages whose last name was “Hajjeh”. The school doesn’t exist anymore; it’s populated by a large family. But its gate still remains. “ZoukakE Hajjeh” led us to the “Khankeh” originally “Khanika” Arabic for suffocating. It’s called this way because they used to gather knights’ horses there, this is why there’s another nearby alley named” Zoukak Rbat El Kheil” that turned out to be “Zoukak El Zock” where there’s a steel sponge factory now.

“Zoukak Ouwaynet” is the last stop. & it’s actually divided into three sections one of them leads to “Souk El Khodra” (Vegetables market) and back to the start point “Zoukak El Hommos”.

I wonder when the next shoot as you walk event is, in fact, I’m looking forward to the Citadels’ journey because I’ve only been there once and I want to go one more time. This journey was postponed so many times because of the reconstruction & the renovation.

Before I leave you with the photos, I want to thank Taha N, Hassan O & Taha B for their perseverance in growing the love of this city in the hearts of its citizens. Allah y2awikon Shabeb 🙂

If you want to see more photos click on the following link:


About Ymn

انا المرأة الزوبعة فقل للنخيل يطأطئ حتى أمرّ
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7 Responses to Tripoli ma ville

  1. taha says:

    yup we love Tripoli, thank you Ymn for this article, yalla see u next time 😉

  2. Farah says:

    I love everything about this except that I wasn’t with you 😦

  3. Ymn says:

    Taha inshalla 🙂
    Farah, I know u would if u could 😉

  4. reading about tripoli, while im miles away, its a bitter sweet taste….but the sweet smell of ornage flowers, the kaak vendors calling for warm, crunchy kaake, the greeting of all men, women walking, all send me back there with joy , and gratitude to this joyfull city,
    like an old lady, just bc it has wrinkles , it doesnt mean she not attractive enough…
    if you come close , she can tell you storys ….
    im from Dabboussy family, and i was vbery pleased to re-heard the story once again…
    keep on walking, keep on shooting, to keep tripoli alive

  5. Ymn says:

    Dana I thank you for stopping by. I’m really glad that a “Dabbousy” read the story of the family origins. I like ur metaphor, that of the old lady and its charm. Perhaps when you come for a visit you could join in 🙂

  6. abdel majid says:

    I really liked what is written above.. you talked about everything… almost in details… very interesting… you know there were many information that are missed by me because I was busy either by talking to someone or doing something else ! ….and I’ve known them now … you can say that you played a role in my culture …’ve proved it lalala …. Thank u Ymn

  7. Pingback: Tripoli ma ville « Shoot As You Walk

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