A Syrian couple, who moved to Vashon in 2017 after migrating to the United States from their war-torn country, will host a pop-up show called the Alati Souq from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at the island home of Suzanna Leigh.
The show, by the husband-and-wife duo of Iyad Alati and Safa Jneidi, is named for the 400-year-old family business owned by Atali’s family in one of the labyrinthian, historic walled marketplaces of Aleppo, Syria — a place now destroyed by the war.
But the spirit of the souq will come alive at Leigh’s home on Saturday, with the sale of a collection of fine scarves, sweaters, jackets and hats that Jneidi has imported from Turkey. Customers can also taste and purchase Middle Eastern delicacies including baklava and other treats made by Alati, an accomplished chef who now supports his family as an Uber driver, caterer and private cook.
The show is an expression of the couple’s efforts to create a new way of life in the Pacific Northwest, based on their deep roots and love of the culture they left behind.
“They are dreaming of bringing the family business alive again,” said Leigh, who is a member of the Vashon Resettlement Committee — a group who brought the couple and their two young daughters to Vashon.
According to Leigh, Atali hopes to soon own and operate a Middle Eastern food truck. Islanders can currently sample his cuisine — including kebabs, Arabic salads, Syrian rice, hummus, falafels, dolmas, hummas and pitas — on Saturdays at the Vashon Sugar Shack. Leigh also encouraged islanders to consider hiring Alati to create a special holiday meal.
For the address of Leigh’s home and to RSVP to attend the Atali Souq sale, call 206-463-5255.