fuel shortage revives syria\s extinct traditional crafts
Last Updated : GMT 00:26:23
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Fuel shortage revives Syria\'s extinct traditional crafts

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Fuel shortage revives Syria\'s extinct traditional crafts

Damascus - XINHUA

Some Syrian crafts disappeared, some others have seen rebirth and many others were born from the womb of the crisis that has forced many Syrians to terminate their businesses willingly or unwillingly. The current crisis experienced by the Syrian society has pushed many people to revive the traditional and most popular crafts that were rampant ahead the crisis and even those which were about to fade out. It was even unthinkable that those crafts would revive in light of the modern technology. Many shops have begun to spread in major cities and suburbs with the aim to revive old crafts such as fixing kerosene stoves, which are widely demanded by people in light of the difficulty to obtain cooking gas. The kerosene stove for instance has returned to the Syrians' kitchens as an alternative for the cooking gas, after the acute gas crisis experienced by the country and the difficulty of getting gas cylinders and their high prices. Syrians stopped using this kind of stove for no less than three decades. "We have revived this craft because people are in need of it as it has become very difficult for many of them to obtain cooking gas especially following the sharp increase in its prices, " said Amir Tenawi, the owner of a shop in the old city of Damascus. "It can save their money and give a solution for gas shortage," he added. Manual glass industry has significantly dropped as a result of reduced demand by the citizens and the decline in the proportion of tourists in view of the current situation. As most factories were shut down or destroyed owing to the raging violence in the country, some manufactures try to revive this craft. Syrians also sound alarm that some industries are about to perish, like soap, and manufacturers returned to primitive methods to make soap. Most soap factories in the northern city of Aleppo suffer the difficulty of securing materials needed for making soap, especially the laurel soap, which city is famous of. This has forced a large number of factories to shut down and some others face the risk of imminent closure. Syria used to earn 10 million U.S. dollars from exporting laurel soap to the United States, Europe, Japan and China. "I am now making soap, shampoo, shower gel at home," said Sami. "I earn less but it's better than nothing," he said, noting that he uses simple and old methods to make soap as he can't afford to buy modern machines. But despite the difficulties left by the crisis, Syrians remain full of hope and looking for resources and new ways of living. In light of the constant power cuts for long hours between rationing and emergency breakdowns at power plants, kerosene lamps have returned to illuminate Syrians houses. Candles, which were rarely used inside house, have become one of the essentials for each family and become a flourished industry. Women, who lost jobs at some factories, have opted to cook inside their houses and sell cooking food to restaurants or houses. Even children do their jobs and some are seen selling bread at corners, in front of shops and near traffic lights. Saud Bittar, along with her daughters-in-law, sisters and even neighbors, are making different kinds of famous Syrian food and sell them to restaurants and even to rich families. "It's a war and we have to cooperate and assist men," she said as she was making Kubba, a traditional Syrian cuisine composed of meat and Borghul, adding that her husband lost his job and she is now taking care of the family. The country is facing the risk of the migration of craftsmen. Ahead of the crisis, Syria ranked the third at the level of the world in gold crafts, marble industry, Arabic sweets and other foods. Because of current events, the vast majority of the industrial zones in Syria have stopped. The Union of Damascus Craftsmen recently unveiled that the government will lay foundation for an industrial city in Deir Ali area near Damascus primarily to employ approximately 10,000 workers. The head of the Craftsman Union in Damascus Marwan Dabbas warned in a statement issued by al-Iqtisadi website of the danger of the migration of elite craftsmen abroad. He said that some neighboring countries seek to attract Syrian artisans, noting that the Jordanian government recently agreed to bring into Jordan Syrian craftsmen and technicians mainly to train its own workers.

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