Of all the horrible news that has been coming out of Syria (and there has been much), I must admit that the one thing that felt the most personal was the destruction of the city of Aleppo. Believed to be the birthplace of soap manufacturing, Aleppo had a centuries-old tradition of soapmaking using only laurel and olive oils. I blogged about it over two years ago. Now, it’s too dangerous for soapmakers to even stay in Aleppo, and they have had to leave their businesses behind. The BBC reported on this back in May.
But if you’d like to see what it used to be like, check out this video of traditional Aleppo soapmaking. It’s a fascinating process. I only hope that one day soon there is enough peace in Syria that all Syrians can begin to rebuild their country, including their soapmaking traditions.