After-Thanksgiving shopping holiday takes hold in the region

‘White’ Friday gains traction in Arab countries with irresistible deals

ERBIL, November 23 — Worldwide shopping enthusiasts, especially in Iraq, are eagerly awaiting Black Friday — or White Friday, as it is known in the region — to seize their chance at global discounts, sometimes reaching up to 90 percent off original prices.

This year, Iraqi stores and websites have prepared for the year’s biggest shopping day, with social media filled with posts guiding customers to expected discounts.

The name Black Friday reportedly dates back to 1966 when police in the U.S. city of Philadelphia described the day after Thanksgiving as such, due to massive traffic jams, crowded sidewalks, and numerous shoplifters.

Despite being an American tradition, decades later the concept of Black Friday has spread across the world, and to Arab countries, where some have reservations about using the term “Black” to describe the day. Fridays are an important day in Islam, and when weekly community prayers are held. And so, the shopping holiday has increasingly been referred to as White Friday in the region.

Although relatively new for Iraqis, many businesses and online platforms have started -promotions and discounts, offering reductions of up to 90 percent.

Local food delivery companies in Baghdad, Erbil, and most Iraqi cities have introduced  new sections on their applications for the shopping holiday, offering up to 50 percent off on restaurant orders.

Advertising and marketing companies have reduced fees and electronic appliance companies have also announced White Friday discounts.