#SundayAnecdotes: Once Upon A Time In Zamalek Vol.2

by Sohailah El-Sawy | May 14, 2017

Today, we continue our series of articles on Zamalek and its bygone days through a new #SundayAnecdotes article:


Writing about “the Good Old Days” , الزمن الجميل , sharing the memories is not about grieving and lamenting. To have experienced such wonderful times, which so many of us remember, is a joy forever.
“Some” years ago you could have gone past this little haberdashery shop on the Zamalek Brazil street and not noticed it. Like most of the other shops, there was no flashiness, no vulgar lighting or elaborate shop window display.
Yet this was an important spot.
This was when crochet and knitting were favorite pastimes. When no household was without a sewing machine, and the sewing box had pride of place!
It was also when we were always needing something to complete an arts and craft project, or needing the remaining ball of wool to complete the pullover you were knitting, or…
So when you walked in this long and slightly narrowish shop, with neatly stacked cardboard boxes, some of which had different size and different colour buttons showing on them, you knew you would find exactly what you needed.
Monsieur GARBIS would be there to greet you, assisted by the “two ladies” who were definitely family.
The entrance to this shop was simple and discreet, the atmosphere inside was warm and friendly. I might even say cosy. Everything in there was basic and equally essential.
GARBIS was Armenian.
Armenians, like the Greeks, were very much part of the Egyptian weave.
Armenians are creative and deligent at the same time. In Egypt they left their mark on all the arts.
My baby photograph was by the maestro ALBAN.
Years later the wedding picture by the gifted ARMAND.
Painters, designers, engineers, writers, cartoonist, musicians, politicians…I could go on and on!
But I think I need more space.
And a separate post!
(next post on our Opera House that was)