Gharwy (03 243376), is further down the same road and is another well-known basket seller that stands opposite a big pile of reeds amongst the grassy wasteland overlooking the sea. Owner Walid Gharwy first established his shop 22 years ago, trading in basket products; he also works in decoration, landscaping and wood.
From the coastal towns of the north, to the mountainous villages of Lebanon, basket making is rooted in Lebanese tradition
There’s a distinct nostalgia attached to traditional Lebanese hand-woven basket crafts, which are often seen piled up on the roadside for sale along the coastal roads of the country. Visit Saida or Tyre and you’ll see their connection to the sea, where they have a strong presence in the harbor, filled with fishing nets or used to carry the morning’s fish. In rural parts, these rustic baskets were used to carry figs, olives and fruits during harvesting season, or flat woven circular mats were used to dry keshik on the roofs of houses in mountain villages.
Beyond the rural regions of Lebanon, traditional baskets also found their purpose in daily urban life. Visit the old neighborhoods of Beirut and see baskets dangling down from the high balconies of crumbling heritage buildings. These woven vessels await the shop owner’s goods.