Abd Al Mu'ez Sider

Conscious Choices


Email: sider.sweets@hotmail.com                   Facebook: حلقوم سدر

Abd Al Mu'ez Sider

   The people of the Old City in Hebron are subject to constant harassment, attacks, and terror by some 500 Israeli settlers who have occupied the most vibrant neighbourhoods in the city, forcing the displacement of hundreds of families and eviction of hundreds of shopkeepers from their businesses. Today, Al-Shuhada Street has a high military presence as settlers are allowed to enter the Old City under the protection of the occupation army, while Palestinians are only permitted to use certain pathways and routes which are reserved only for them. However, many merchants of the old city have remained steadfast and refuse to close their shops or leave. This is in spite of the fact that they are barely making ends meet for their families and are enduring constant physical attacks byboth the occupation forces and armed settlers. In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler in Hebron, walked into Al-Ibrahimi Mosque with an automatic rifle and opened fire on worshippers as they prayed. Twenty-nine Palestinians were killed and more than 120 were injured. Ever since the massacre, the Israeli army, who protect an estimated 500 settlers who have occupied several areas in the heart of the Palestinian city, began to implement severe closures across the Old City. Many centuries-old shops and factories are based there and one of them is the famous Sidr Halqoum factory.

   Who in Palestine does not love Turkish Delight (Rahet Al Halqoum)? When it is local, freshly made, and preservatives free, it is even more special. Abd Al-Mu’ez Sider (Abu Alaa’), who is the owner of this generations-old family business, is a very proud and visionary man. The factory first started operating in 1820, and much of the old machinery is still on display at the shop to show the long history of this factory. With his grandfather’s expertise in making many Levantine sweets such as simsimeyeh, fust’ieyeh, and halqoum, Abu Alaa’ inherited the business and store that he guards with his life. He vividly remembers the exact date when the settlers set his factory on fire; 18th of June1990. He states that this incident made him more determined than ever to continue his business in the Old City and to never leave. Today, his sons are also helping him in developing the business.

   Abu Alaa’ focuses on natural production and says that the commercial halqoum you get from Turkey and other places is full of chemicals and artificial colouring. In contrast, he uses natural flower petals and extract from zhurat (rose essence) to give the halqoum the special aroma and flavour that sends you back to centuries-old culture, food, and traditions of the Levant. The machine he has in store was brought from Aleppo in Syria, where these delicacies are famously produced. The factory is a popular place to visit as people come from all over the world to taste and buy the special sweets. Many Palestinians living in the diaspora make sure to visit Abu Alaa’ when they are in Palestine and visiting the Old City to stock up on sweets and catch up with Abu Alaa’. He believes that this relationship of solidarity is what keeps him going.

   The halqoum factory and the beautiful Old City of Hebron are a must visit. Spending the day there is a treat for the senses; the sounds, smells, and stories of steadfastness and determination filling the air.


Product Availability: Year-round.

Product Selling Points: Exclusively at Sider Sweets Store. 

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are welcome depending on the need with prior coordination.

Other Services: People who are interested in taking a tour inside the sweets factory are welcome.