A souq or souk is a marketplace or commercial quarter in Western Asian, North African and some Horn African cities. The term souq goes by many alternatives in different parts of the world; the equivalent Persian term is "bazaar". In general a souq is synonymous with a bazaar or marketplace, the term souq is used in Arabic-speaking countries. Evidence for the existence of souqs dates to the 6th century BCE. Souqs were located outside city walls, but as cities became more populated, souqs were moved to the city centre and became covered walkways. Detailed analysis of the evolution of souqs is scant due to the lack of archaeological evidence. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Western interest in Oriental culture led to the publication of many books about daily life in Middle Eastern countries. Souqs and the trappings of trade feature prominently in paintings and engravings, works of fiction and travel writing. Shopping at souq or bazaar is a standard part of daily life throughout the Middle East. Today, souqs tend to be found in a city's medina and are important tourist attractions.

The Arabic word is a loan from Aramaic "šūqā", itself a loanword from the Akkadian "sūqu". The spelling souk entered European languages through French during the French occupation of the Arab countries Morocco and Tunisia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus, the word "souq" most refers to Arabic/North African traditional markets. Other spellings of this word involving the letter "Q" were developed using English and thus refer to Western Asian/Arab traditional markets, as British colonialism was present there during the 19th and 20th centuries. In Modern Standard Arabic the term al-sooq refers to markets in both the physical sense and the abstract economic sense. In northern Morocco, the Spanish corruption socco is used as in the Grand Socco and Petit Socco of Tangiers. In the sub-continent, a different corruption,'chowk', is used in place of souq; the term is used generically to designate the market in any Western Asian city, but may be used in Western cities those with a Muslim community. Documentary sources point to permanent marketplaces in Middle Eastern cities from as early as 550 BCE.

A souq was an open-air marketplace. Souqs were held outside cities at locations where incoming caravans stopped and merchants displayed their goods for sale. Souqs were established at caravanserai, places where a caravan or caravans arrived and remained for rest and refreshments. Since this might be infrequent, souqs extended beyond buying and selling goods to include major festivals involving various cultural and social activities. Any souq may serve a social function as being a place for people to meet in, in addition to its commercial function; these souqs or bazaars formed networks, linking major cities with each other in which goods, culture and information could be exchanged. From around the 10th century, as major cities increased in size, the souq or marketplace shifted to the center of urban cities where it spread out along the city streets in a linear pattern. Around this time, permanent souqs became covered marketplaces. In tribal areas, where seasonal souks operated, neutrality from tribal conflicts was declared for the period of operation of a souq to permit the unhampered exchange of surplus goods.

Some of the seasonal markets were held at specific times of the year and became associated with particular types of produce such as Suq Hijr in Bahrain, noted for its dates while Suq'Adan was known for its spices and perfumes. In spite of the centrality of the Middle Eastern market place little is known due to the lack of archaeological evidence. Souqs A temporary, seasonal souq is held at a set time; the oldest souqs were set up annually, were general festivals held outside cities. For example, Souq Ukadh was held yearly in pre-Islamic times in an area between Mecca and Ta’if during the sacred month of Dhu al-Qi'dah. While a busy market, it was more famous for its poetry competitions, judged by prominent poets such as Al-Khansa and Al-Nabigha. An example of an Islamic annual souq is Al Mirbid just outside Basra famed for its poetry competitions in addition to its storytelling activities. Temporary souqs tended to become known for specific types of produce. For example, Suq Hijr in Bahrain was noted for its dates while Suq'Adan was known for its spices and perfumes.

Political and social changes have left only the small seasonal souqs outside villages and small towns selling livestock and agricultural products. Weekly markets have continued to function throughout the Arab world. Most of them are named from the day of the week, they have open spaces designated for their use inside cities. Examples of surviving markets are the Wednesday Market in Amman that specializes in the sale of used products, the Ghazl market held every Friday in Baghdad specializing in pets. Permanent souqs are more occurring, but less

Rabban Hormizd

Rabban Mar Hormizd was a monk who lived in the seventh century in modern northern Iraq). Rabban is the Syriac term for monk. "Rabban" is the Aramaic word for "teacher". He founded the Rabban Hormizd Monastery, named after him, which has served in the past as the patriarchate of the Church of the East. In the Church of the East and its schismatic branches, Rabban Hormizd is commemorated on the second Sunday after Easter. According to The histories of Rabban Hormizd the Persian and Rabban Bar-Idta, a text written by his disciple Simon before the 12th century, Hormizd was born at the end of the sixth or beginning the seventh century at Beth Lapat from a rich or noble family, at the age of eighteen he started to travel towards Scetes to become a monk there. On the way he met three monks of the Church of the East monastery of Bar Idta who urged him to become an inmate of their monastery, he did so, he lived a stern life. Hormizd lived in and near the Monastery of Bar Idta for thirty-nine years and in the monastery of Abba Abraham of Risha for six or seven years.

When Hormizd was sixty-five or sixty-six, he left the monastery and passing out of the country of Marga went and settled down in the mountain of Beth'Edhrai near the Chaldean town of Alqosh. When he had been there some little time the people in the neighbourhood offered to build him a monastery, the present Rabban Hormizd Monastery; the following part of the life of Rabban Hormizd is marked by episodes in which the saint opposed the monks of the Mar Mattai Monastery. Memorial of Rabban Hormizd - E. A. Wallis Budge, The histories of rabban Hôrmîzd the Persian and rabban Bar-ʻIdtâ, I, The syriac textes, London 1902 E. A. Wallis Budge, The histories of rabban Hôrmîzd the Persian and rabban Bar-ʻIdtâ, II/1, English translations, London 1902 E. A. Wallis Budge, The histories of rabban Hôrmîzd the Persian and rabban Bar-ʻIdtâ, II/2, The metrical life of rabban Hôrmîzd by Mâr Sergius of Âdhôrbâîjân. English translations, London 1902

General Treasury Building

The General Treasury Building is the building that houses the Treasury of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance & Planning along with several of its departments. It was known as the Secretariat Building therefore it is still called The Secretariat, it is situated in the Colombo fort next to the Old Parliament Building, now the Presidential Secretariat. With the expansion of the Legislative Council of Ceylon, the need for a new building to house the council and the civil administration of Ceylon was suggested by Sir Henry McCallum. A proposal made by a committee to construct the new building for the Secretariat, Council Chamber and Government offices on reclaimed land at the northern end of Galle Face' was accepted by the Ceylon Government in 1920; the chief architect of the Public Works Department, A. Woodson, was responsible for the design of the building; the initial estimate of Rs 400,000 for the scheme was revised by the Public Works Advisory Board to Rs 450,000, taking into account the extra expenses involved.

The building was opened on January 1930 by Governor Sir Herbert Stanley. The new building was of two parts, the smaller however the more grandeur Council Chamber with a Neo-baroque facade faced the Indian Ocean to the west; the Secretariat, lager however the more simple building compared to the Council Chamber situated to the east of it. The Council Chamber was to house Legislative Council, however it was only for a year as the Legislative Council was replaced by the more powerful State Council of Ceylon in 1931; the Secretariat housed the civil administration of the colony, with the offices of the Colonial Secretary and the Treasurer along with their staff and several government departments. The two building became the center of the government of the island for the next twenty years till Ceylon gained independence in 1949. For many years after independence the headquarters of the CID of the Police was based here on the fourth floor which gain much ill fame. Following independence, new government ministries and departments were set up to carry out policy formulated by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Many key departments were housed here including the Ministry of Finance. Soon many of the government ministries and departments moved out of the building to new buildings due their expansion. By the 1950s the building was known as the General Treasury and by the 1980s the building was occupied by the Ministry of Finance and its departments. Old Parliament Building, Colombo Republic Building This building is undergoing a process of extension. Construction project is handled by Consultancy Division of state Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka. Treasury of Sri Lanka