Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Damascus, Syria

Some travel souvenirs remind you of the world, others tell a story that goes back in time.

This is called kabkab, the Arabic word for clogs. And this souvenir is a mini kabkab. You slide one on the thumb, the other on the first finger and you click them like finger cymbals.

damascus clogs

Clogs aren’t usually associated with the ancient metropolis of Damascus which makes this souvenir a piece of cultural history. The inscription in Arabic bears the name of a renowned fictional character, Ghawar al-Tawsheh, who enjoyed cult popularity status during the seventies. Ghawar featured in a Syrian television series called Sah el Nawm (Good Morning) which followed his farcical pranks every week in order to attain the woman he loves.

Delivered in a slapstick comedy style, Ghawar who wore a tarboush (fez) and clunky clogs (kab-kab), got up to all sorts of mischief but remained a lovable character. The Syrian actor who played him, Duraid Lahham, started his career as a university professor before he became synonymous with Ghawar. According to his website, his character remains as the most popular fictional character in the 20th century throughout the Arab World.

To understand the relevance of the clogs, I found this YouTube video. The song features Ghawar behind bars singing Fatoum Fatoumeh, an Arabic version a popular and traditional Armenian song Karoun Karoune.

From the souks of Damascus to the songs of Armenia, from unconventional clogs to YouTube clips, this is a souvenir that recounts a cultural story from the past.

Other Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Tokyo, Seoul, Jbeil, Big Island of Hawaii, Dubai, Provence, Tahiti, Montmartre/Paris.

This article is posted on All rights reserved. Copyright © 2014

Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Damascus, Syria was last modified: January 21st, 2012 by Corinne


Corinne is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards for 2013 and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List for 2013.
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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Damascus, Syria | Gourmantic --

  2. This is more than a souvenir, this is a piece of history. That youtube with the giant clogs is a hoot!

  3. Interesting background information and nice souvenir. I want a pair of the full size clogs!

  4. OMG! Now I know where Sir Robert Winston got his big break! :D

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