Online shopping threatens Syria's outdoor markets

Online food shopping made its debut in Syria this spring, already drawing 2,000 customers.

By , Contributor

  • close
    Souk Salihiyeh in Damascus, Syria, offers a range of foods. The outdoor marketplace faces new competition from online food shopping.
    View Caption

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Up in Damascus’s Souk Salihiyah, the streets bustle with shoppers buying fresh produce. But Syria’s souks (marketplaces) have a new competitor: This spring, online food shopping made its debut in the country, already drawing 2,000 customers.

Foodleco.com caters to all possible culinary needs. As well as delivering goods to the customer’s doorstep, the site also offers delivery service from a range of restaurants.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

The site – along with a limited but growing number of supermarkets – marks a break from traditional, daily shopping at the vegetable stalls and corner shops that dot nearly every street.

Impersonal online shopping and supermarket anonymity may not re-create the social fabric that is found in souks. But the new service caters to a growing workforce working longer hours. “[Foodleco.com] saves a lot of time,” says Shaza Salem, a website administrator. “And it stops me [from] buying lots of things I don’t necessarily need.”

Foodleco.com highlights the rapid changes in Syrian society in which US-style conveniences are taking over traditional ways of life – but only for the upper classes. With only a very few households able to afford an Internet connection and credit cards, most of the population carries on in the souk as usual.

Related:

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...