This is the first Blog on our online store site......long in the making (the website that is :) and finally launched if you are reading this (YES!!! 'high five' someone for us/me pretty please :) so here we go.....
We are The Arabic Bazaar.....and you are probably already know, we are direct importers of beautifully crafted goods from Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and beyond......but that's not near the full story! yes, please read on.....
My name is Zein Al-Jundi. I was born and raised in Syria (born in Homs, grew up in Damascus-the capital city).
Ever since I can remember, I did two things--sing (dance/act too) and dream of becoming an architect. And no, I am not talking about singing around our house in Damascus or just in front of my family and friends, I did so on the most prominent of theaters stage in and around Damascus and at times, spent more time in recording studios performing different things to be aired on Syria's (at the time only) TV and Radio stations than at home or school. I sang, I danced and I acted not because of any ambitions to make anything out of it nor claim it as a career.....I simply did so because God gave me the gift of it all and, maybe with heavenly intervention, opportunities allowed me to do so in the public realm.
Eventually, when I got to my late teen years, I decided it was time to hang that hat up and move on to more of what I had set out to do for myself in my future--become an architect (I have a magazine clippings of an interview someone did with me when in third grade and my answer to the question of 'what do you want to become when you grow up?' was 'an architect').......and yes, I DID indeed become an architect (attended the School of Architecture in Damascus for a bit then moved to the US and finished earned my degree from The University of Texas @ Austin).....
But life throws you curve balls that one needs to dodge......mine came in the shape of a car accident that put all my architecture aspirations on hold. However 'On hold' (at times) comes with the beauty of room left in your life to fill with new and revisited ventures.......I went back to singing, I started teaching bellydance and eventually opened The Arabic Bazaar that became the nucleus for all I do and a small community center of sort for my Arab Culture--something I am so forever grateful for and honored by--and, in that sense, the store has never been just a store or a mean to make a living (trust me, there are far easier ways to make a living and if it was just that, I probably would have given it up a long time ago.....). It has rather been the instrument via which I have been able to introduce anyone willing to receive, the beauty and multi facets of my culture and what The Arab World can offer (music, beautiful arts and crafts, travel destinations, dance, language course and more)!
And with the launch of our online store, I pray and hope that we continue to prosper/persevere and will be able to reach people in far away places we can't nor have been able to reach at our physical location so cheers to that!!!