From residential area to industrial zone
Alzermla Market in Baghdad struggles amidst transformation
BAGHDAD — Alzermla Market, nestled in the Al-Alawi area of central Baghdad, is grappling with significant challenges stemming from a drastic transformation in the locale’s character and use. What was once a residential neighborhood has morphed into a semi-industrial zone, now overrun by automobile repair shops and machinery.
As one of the most venerable markets in old Baghdad, Alzermla Market traces its name back to the Al-Azarmili family (alternatively known as Al-Arzhromly, a nod to the Turkish city of Erzurum), with the designation gradually morphing into its present form.
The market, established in the 1930s and extending nearly a kilometer near Street 6, opposite the Saad ibn Abi Waqas Mosque, is renowned for its orderliness and cleanliness, despite its years. It originally gained fame for its meat vendors but has since broadened its offerings to include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and spices, among others.
Local resident Ali Al-Karkhi conveyed to 964media, “The shift from a residential area to an industrial one, teeming with car workshops and machinery repairs, has precipitated a business decline for most market vendors.”
This industrial pivot has led to the desertion of many old residences, with the majority being repurposed as warehouses to accommodate the new industrial landscape.
Market vendors, in conversations with 964media, expressed their determination to adjust to these new market conditions. “Our clientele primarily comprises locals or individuals from adjacent areas, yet their numbers are on a steady decline.”
Despite its evolution into a more modern and varied marketplace, beyond merely selling meat, Alzermla Market is contending with the challenge of a dwindling customer base, struggling to preserve its historically bustling vibe amidst the neighborhood’s shift towards industrialization.