Suggestions for a special or unusual gift from Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Jordan (for an American)?
December 26, 2008 1:08 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for a special or unusual gift from Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Jordan (for an American)?

Some friends are traveling to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan while I house-sit for them and their cats during the month of January. Although I'm fascinated by the food, people, and culture of the middle east (and have lived in Europe and Asia) I've never been to the region myself. I would guess the ballpark price for this gift would be around $50 or less (oh, and I'm a 30-ish American male). Any ideas on what I might suggest, or request?
posted by Auden to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From Egypt I brought back custom made cartouches for the people watching our cats. Sorta cheesy but fun. Cost me 20 bucks each in silver for 5 letters.
posted by Lord_Pall at 1:16 AM on December 26, 2008

Second the cartouche idea. Very nice, and the craftsmanship is excellent. I've bought them for people, and they are always a big hit. The really intricate ones may take a couple of weeks or so to make.

Here's an example.

Don't be put off by the price on the website. They can be made of different metals (silver is also very popular), and the cost at the source (Middle East) is very inexpensive.
posted by Master Gunner at 1:53 AM on December 26, 2008

Not sure if it's only a Yemen/Oman thing, but what about frankincense?
posted by mdonley at 2:01 AM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Artisan pottery/ ceramic tiles.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 11:06 AM on December 26, 2008

Heh. My mom and her husband just got back from such a trip. They brought me a scarf from a market in Egypt, which was unexpected but lovely; but perhaps you aren't that sort of dude? Still, textiles are a possibility. Foodwise, there's amazing and (relatively) cheap saffron and dates over there, though I'm not sure about specific countries of origin (they were also in Oman and Dubai)—though perhaps that isn't special enough.
posted by felix grundy at 10:42 AM on December 29, 2008

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