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Shopping in Syria

Silk brocade embroidered with gold and silver thread, for which Damascus has always been famous. Hand-engraved brass with silver inlays of different patterns and designs. Popular hand-printed cotton garments and cloth, and the 'Samra' gold imbroidery for which Hama is renowned. Pictures of epic and folk heroes painted on glass or cloth. Mosaics inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tinted wood. Hand-woven rugs made of pure wool. Glass made as you-wait-and-watch; this is the work of glass blowers using mud furnaces where liquid glass is turned into pretty beakers, plates and lamps.

Souks (markets) are the best places for shopping, notably those in Aleppo.

Syrian currency cannot generally be reconverted to hard currency. The country’s banking system is state-owned, and there is at least one branch of the Commercial Bank of Syria in every main town. Hard currency can be exchanged for local currency in these branches. Traveller's cheques may be difficult to exchange and are not generally recommended.

American Express and Diners Club are most readily accepted; some hotels will accept MasterCard. Tickets may be bought with credit cards.





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