For those who love seafood, “Halaket El-Samak” (Fish Market) in Alexandria has to be one of their favourite places. All types of seafood are available for sale after being freshly caught at dawn; the price of fish at the market depends on the quantity and variety of fish the fishers were able to catch.
The market has been located near the Citadel of Qaitbay for over 200 years and is considered a main part of Alexandria’s heritage. Big famous hotels and restaurants at Alexandria buy their daily seafood ingredients through auctions that take place at the market starting at dawn until 9am at the latest. Any unsold fish get sold to individuals in small amounts.
It is common to find all types of fish, shrimp, lobster, crab, octopus, oysters and others types of sea creatures there.
However, the fish market has been suffering from severe neglect when it comes to maintenance services, cleanliness, and infrastructure. Recently, it has turned into a dirty, crowded, and ramshackle area.
“This place used to be as good looking as a garden full of all types of fruits; there were all types of fish in here,” said Hazem, one of the sellers at the market. “People from across Egypt who would want to have a good seafood meal would come in here to get it”.
Nowadays, Halaket El-Samak has no electricity or fresh water. Although it is still considered the main source of fish in Egypt, no one cares to provide it with the needed maintenance, according to Hazem.
All photos by Ahmed Hindawi and Asmaa’ Gamal