“For how many years do you spray salt and it doesn’t move the soil”… On Abdel Rahman Meubelstraat

The car crosses the city streets, and the voice of Sheikh Sayed Makkawi echoes in me, singing the words of the poet Taher Abu Fasha: “They said where is the land? Low”.

Thus, Al-Damiati, the owner of the craftsmanship, “hands destroyed in silk”, turns a solid piece of wood with his chisel and hammer into an artistic painting that speaks of beauty, to decorate various pieces of furniture and turn them into priceless values . antiquities. Therefore, those looking to acquire a piece of furniture that ‘lives a lifetime’ should travel to Damietta, specifically to Abdel Rahman Street.

It was time and it was

A long street, about half a kilometer long. This includes on the side of shops that open their doors every morning to throng the street with various pieces of furniture such as chairs, tables, hangers, salons, antiques and other pieces of furniture and accessories known by the craftsmen.

More than 300 shops on the high street offer furniture for sale at prices to suit everyone and different tastes to satisfy everyone.

Branching from the street are lanes and alleys filled with small workshops that smell of wood and dust, and the sound of knocking and sawing rises to fill the areas with life; Voices were mixed with the noise of the crowd that filled the street a few years ago, so there is no difference between the sound of a customer deciding the price of a piece and the beating of a hammer on the head not from a nail. Today, however, the bells rise and echo until they meet their inevitable fate on a road empty of pedestrians without piercing the ear of a customer or forcing a salesman to raise his voice.

“For how many years have you been sprinkling salt, so that the earth does not fall into it from the crowd of people. Now, as you see, if a customer visits us one day, he will be forced”; A sentence dripping with pain was expressed by Hajj Mahmoud Abu Abdullah, one of the oldest and most famous wood merchants on Abd al-Rahman Street, who told us about the beginning of the street: “The street looked like two or three workshops in the late sixties, and because they walked, the workshops and exhibitions were numerous, and the street seemed to recognize. In the 1970s he traded in furniture and furniture accessories, and there was a customer who signed him up to buy all his furniture and furnishings. some of them opened workshops in the side streets, and continued to serve the shops therein. We made furniture and the art of oima. Now they remain owners of workshops and exhibitions in their countries.”

The street that opened the doors of existence to hundreds of workers and “industrialists”, whether from Damietta or the various Egyptian governorates, was a reason for the joy of those about to get married over the past decades. The street offers them furniture for the marriage nest at an affordable price and various models and high quality that everyone trusts, not only the Egyptians, but the Arabs as well. Many Gulf people know the street, whether they are visitors or those who import products. from a distance.

“For how many years have you been sprinkling salt, so that the earth does not fall into it from the crowd of people. Now, as you see, if a customer visits us one day, he will be forced”; A sentence dripping with pain uttered by Hajj Mahmoud Abu Abdullah, one of the oldest and most famous timber merchants on Abd al-Rahman Street

The advantage that the street offers to its visitors is that it sells furniture in its first stage, ie “before finishing,” as Hajj Abu Abdullah said: “Here you will find everything you want from the furniture of your home, from needles to missiles. , as they say, but white wood, you can take it and finish it according to your taste and according to your taste. Your possibilities, since its cost remains low, and you include its foundation and you can the wood see with your own eyes before it is colored or upholstered, and this is something that is not available in large exhibitions. The street also provides a finishing service for those who like it and ask.”

Abdul Rahman Street was affected by the rise in the price of the dollar and then by the Corona pandemic, so his customers did not leave it for a change in the quality of his goods, but for the customer to go to the cheapest goods to grab, even if they were poorly made and of no quality.

Al-Hajj tells us: “Now the customer, after the price increase, is looking for anything that serves the purpose, and peace. He does not focus on quality, not even the furniture in which he lives. The young man of countries manages his affairs with the amount of pounds they have to establish his house, and unfortunately the intruders are in the industry. Many people worked in Abdel Rahman Street, strangers, not ladies, and stole the rig and knew its secrets, and returned to their countries then, worked in workshops, and continued to make furniture from the outside just to satisfy the customer, and this stopped our situation and the situation of the street.

The strange rise in the prices of raw materials, and the disappearance of the original street customers stagnated the goods of his displays, and the movement of buying and selling was greatly affected, so that many shop owners on the street were forced to close; This is what Muhammad al-Namas, one of the young Abd al-Rahman Street merchants, who specialized in selling antiques for many years, said He is a father and grandfather on the street, as he told us: “My grandfather was a carpenter, a driver, then changed his occupation in the seventies to carpentry of chairs and tables, and the situation continued for years. So long that I decided to trade in antiques.

Al-Namas confirms that Abdel Rahman Street has also been the destination of Arabs, foreigners and Africans to win a piece of furniture distinguished in terms of quality and price, and it has had international fame for years, but now the sale is very few, and the prices of raw materials are increasing, so the Egyptian government should find a solution to reduce import prices of raw materials, and pay more attention to the international and local propaganda of Damietta furniture, because it is a national wealth that deserves to be preserved and to be in the foreground.

Away from the street crises and the sadness that overshadowed its traders due to the calm that imposed its dominance after years of glorious noise, I searched for the reason for the name for which the street was known, and tried to answer the question of who is Abdul Rahman . , whose name does the street bear?

The answer came to me from most of the people in the street, confirming that the name of the street belongs to Sidi Abd al-Rahman al-Idrisi, the owner of the mosque in the middle of the street, who in the early years was built. sixties of the last century, before the street acquired its current identity.

Despite the lack of customers and the poor movement of buying and selling in Abdul Rahman Street at the moment, it was necessary to ask about the things that should be considered by customers if they decide to visit the street for a piece of furniture from it.

Abdul Rahman Street has also been the destination of Arabs, foreigners and Africans to win a piece of furniture distinguished in terms of quality and price, and it has been internationally renowned for years… One of the traders on the street told us

The answer came to us from Muhammad Abdo, one of the young Abd al-Rahman Street traders. Mohammed, the owner of a famous shop in this street, specialized in selling salons, sofas, dining rooms, bedrooms, children and antiques. He has been active for more than 15 years, has long experience, and knows the level of customers as soon as possible. when they enter the store.

I asked Muhammad for advice for those interested in buying, and he said: “The customer thinks that the quality of a piece of furniture increases the more it weighs, which is a lot of misinformation, and a trap that many fall into. a piece of furniture has nothing to do with the weight of wood, but rather with the quality of its kind. To buy a piece of furniture is to be familiar with the properties of good wood, and not to be misled by weight or shape.”

Muhammad continued: “The customer is also deceived by the shape of the piece. Many pieces and models imitate their external shape without paying attention to its quality and quality. Often the customer comes across an expensive piece on the street and sees a copy of it elsewhere at a much lower price, so he imagines that street prices are exaggerated. He grabs the cheapest, but he only realizes the mistake after using it. Only then does he realize the trick.”

Prices in Abdul Rahman Street are determined by the prices of raw materials, and the displays in it are of the best wood materials, so it has gained international fame, because those who buy a piece of furniture from it know the difference between it and others.

And the last advice that Muhammad Abdo gave to the customers of Abdul Rahman Street is the need to avoid brokers, and deal directly with shop owners, as this will save customers a lot of money.

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