Balsam from a war zone

A green and white box peeps out of the dust and rubble. Fast food restaurants near me that deliver On it, written in red, is an Arabic name: Hussein Zahra. Food restaurants near me that deliver This piece of cardboard is the only indication that this was once the site of a workshop, a soap factory. Fast food restaurants open now All that remains of what were once two-storey buildings is a concrete skeleton riddled with bullet holes.


Aleppo, once a thriving city in northern Syria, has been destroyed. Fast food restaurants open today First came the rebels, then the jihadists, then the Syrian bombers and most recently the Russian bombers. Fast food restaurants open late Yet despite this destruction, one of the region’s most famous exports, Aleppo soap, still finds its way onto the shelves of health food shops, pharmacies, drug stores and organic shops and supermarkets in Germany. Fast food restaurants open on easter But where does the soap really come from?

Hussein Zahra began making handmade soap out of olive oil and laurel oil almost four decades ago. Restaurants american fork The family-run company was situated in Sheikh Saeed, a district in south-eastern Aleppo that has been at the centre of fierce fighting for a very long time. Restaurants american fork utah Three years ago, his son Mohammed, who now runs the company, fled the war. Restaurants fast food near me Today, Mohammed produces Aleppo soap in Mersin in Turkey, from where he ships it to Europe and Asia. American food restaurants near me He shuns the use of modern technology, choosing instead to produce soap the way Arab soap producers have done for hundreds of years. Restaurants and fast food near me In these times of crisis, however, raw materials, transport and shipment are more expensive and more difficult. What fast food restaurants are open today ‘We hope we will be able to return to Aleppo soon,’ says Mohammed. What fast food restaurants are open right now ‘We are very tired.’

Most of his fellow soap-makers feel the same way. List of fast food restaurants near me Where once over 200 soap factories of all sizes produced soap in and around Aleppo, almost all have either closed or are in exile. Chinese food restaurants around me Because soap does not actually have to be produced in Aleppo to bear the city’s name, most companies have shifted production to safer places abroad. Food restaurants that deliver One has set up shop in France; most have settled in Turkey. Restaurant food waste After all, the Turkish-Syrian border is only 60 km from Aleppo.

Talal Anis also moved production, first to Afrin in the Syrian Kurdish part of the country and then further – across the Turkish border – to Gaziantep. Fast food restaurants open christmas day These moves cost him dearly; many items were stolen each time he moved.

Before the conflict began in 2011, Talal and his partner were producing up to 800 t of Aleppo soap every year. Chinese food restaurants that deliver near me Today, this figure has shrunk to a maximum 250 t. Fast food restaurant coupons He saw no future for himself in Aleppo: ?Many soap factories were razed to the ground. Healthy food restaurants near me They suddenly found themselves on the front line,? he says. Restaurants that deliver food near me What’s more, factory owners were kidnapped and held for ransom. Food restaurants that deliver near me Others were killed and some just disappeared off the face of the earth. Chinese food restaurants that deliver Very few have stuck it out. Fast food restaurants open late near me One of the few to stay in the city is a friend of Talal, who is now producing soap at home. Fast food restaurants hiring near me ‘He now lives upstairs and manufactures soap on the ground floor.’ With all the power cuts and water shortages in the city, people in Aleppo have to be creative: they work with generators and dig new wells.

When most people think of Aleppo, they think of barrel bombs, jihadists and mass exodus. Fast food restaurants close to me Aleppo has become synonymous with a bloody war for which there is no solution. Best fast food restaurants in america Six years ago, things were very different: Aleppo, situated at the heart of one of the most fertile regions in the Middle East, was known for its fascinating old quarter with its bazaars, caravanserais and ancient mosques.

Aleppo is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world. Coupons fast food restaurants Until the opening of the Suez Canal in the year 1869, it was situated on a number of important trade routes, including the Silk Road. Fast food restaurants in usa Legend has it that Abraham, who is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, milked his cow on the hill where the citadel stands. Fast food restaurants hiring Indeed, it is this legend that gave the city its Arabic name: Halab al-Shahba (which translates as ‘he milked the grey cow’).

In the seventh century, resourceful craftsmen in the region revolutionised the production of soap: they boiled olive oil and lye in large vats, adding laurel oil to the mixture. Soul food restaurants near me that deliver The first hard soaps were born. Fast food restaurants that deliver near me To this day, Aleppo soap is made according to this ancient recipe.

The first hard soap is born: in the seventh century, resourceful craftsmen in the region revolutionised the production of soap: they boiled olive oil and lye in large vats, adding laurel oil to the mixture. Restaurant food cost percentage To this day, Aleppo soap is made according to this ancient recipe

After the mixture has boiled to a paste, it is poured into shallow basins and spread out. Good fast food restaurants near me It is then allowed to cool and harden. Fast food restaurants hiring at 15 The mixture is then cut by hand into blocks, the name of the manufacturer is stamped into the soap and the blocks are then stacked and left to dry for up to nine months. Fast food restaurants in california At this point, the surface of the soap is ochre in hue. Fast food restaurants in new york Inside, however, the soap is still olive green. Fast food restaurants close to my location In theory, the soap can be stored in a dry place for decades without diminishing in quality.

?Soap was a huge export success story and the foundation on which many of the region’s most affluent families built their wealth,? says Christian Sassmannshausen of the Institute for Islamic Studies at the Freie Universitat Berlin, who has taken a closer look at soap production in the Middle East as part of his research work.

Soap-makers in the region that now comprises Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Jordan had a major advantage over others in the business: their raw materials were all produced nearby. Fast food restaurants closest to me This was a boon at a time when the transportation of olive oil or laurel oil was very expensive. Fast food restaurant chains In the early twentieth century, however, the Arab market was flooded with mass-produced soap from Europe, causing a collapse in sales of the local product. Fast food restaurants with veggie burgers It was only the organic trend and the growing popularity of natural cosmetics that brought Aleppo soap to the attention of the Europeans once again. Find fast food restaurants near me It has one major advantage: it is produced without palm oil and without any artificial ingredients.

The war in Syria made Aleppo soap a product in exile. Free food from restaurants Nevertheless, most of the manufacturers are in no doubt: some day, when peace returns to Syria, they will return to Aleppo and rebuild their factories.

In submitting this comment, the reader accepts the following terms and conditions: Qantara.de reserves the right to edit or delete comments or not to publish them. Food network restaurants near me This applies in particular to defamatory, racist, personal, or irrelevant comments or comments written in dialects or languages other than English. Food restaurants near me open Comments submitted by readers using fantasy names or intentionally false names will not be published. Open fast food restaurants near me Qantara.de will not provide information on the telephone. Fast food restaurants near my location Readers’ comments can be found by Google and other search engines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *