"headstrong decision to come to the souk alone"
A Marrakech souk at dawn as traders set out their wares - Credit: Lionel Leo
A souk (or souq) is an outdoor market or commercial district of an Arabic or Muslim city. At one time, souks were held outside cities in open areas where large groups of vendors would sell their goods from their caravans. This still of souk does still exist, usually in more rural areas – in cities, a souk is more or less always a permanent fixture. It usually consists of a network of narrow, bustling alleyways which are lined by shops or stalls, and may be divided within itself into different quarters, each of which sells a certain type of goods.