ALEPPO: After years of war, the scent of laurel oil once again wafts from a small soap workshop in Aleppo, signalling the revival of a landmark trade in the battered northern city, reports AFP.
Surrounding soap workshops in the Al-Nayrab district still lie in ruins, badly damaged in the four-year battle for the former rebel stronghold.But for Ali Shami, hanging up his apron was not an option.
“I never stopped making soap throughout the war—even if it was just a little,” says the 44-year-old, who fled his home city during the fighting.
“But this workshop is special,” he tells AFP.
“It was here that I started more than 30 years ago.”
Shami reopened his soap workshop last month after shutting it down in 2012, when Syria’s second city became a main front in the eight-year-long conflict.
The scars of war are still visible on the building, its walls punctured with holes caused by shelling. Rushes of wind gust through the gaps.Shami carried out limited renovations—just enough to produce more than half of his pre-war output of around 800 tonnes a year.