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History of Syria

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Syria was here in Mari and Ugarit , where AsSyrian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman empires and cultures met and Interactioned
 In Syria, Man discovered the mysteries of Agriculture, Metallurgy, and contrived the foremost alphabet

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Handicrafts, an Aesthetic Culture that Characterized Syrians across History

 

Damascus, (SANA) Handicrafts are a vital part of the aesthetic culture that characterized Syrians across history. The skill of Syrian craftsmen, inherited over thousands of years, helped them to craft innovations that became models of precision, finesse and creativity.

Most of traditional handicrafts can be seen at the Handicrafts Market in Damascus, an important tourist attraction that contains a variety of handicrafts ranging from Damascus swords, wood carvings, Damascene wood mosaics, Damask, and more.

In a statement to SANA, Minister of Tourism Dr. Saadalla Agha al-Qalaa underlined the important role of traditional handicrafts in promoting tourism, since they reflect the arts and traditions of society.

He noted that recent years witnessed a growth in the numbers of tourists and in promoting tourist products, including handicrafts, which reflected positively on craftsmen and helped preserve traditional handicrafts by opening up new markets.

One of the most famous handicrafts is the Damask, or the Damascene Brocade, which is the art of weaving natural silk with gold and silver threads using a traditional wooden shuttle, producing patterns of remarkable precision. There are three types of Damask; one used for clothing, another for decoration, and the third for furniture.

Another notable craft is Damascene wood mosaic, which is the art of inlaying wood with colored wood veneer in various geometrical patterns. Mosaic veneers are made of various types of wood such as walnut, Eucalyptus and rosewood, with each one having a unique color to give the patterns the desired effect.

Mosaics range from simple trinkets such as boxes or frames to furniture, with some pieces inlayed with seashells.

The Damascus sword is another ancient and renowned craft, mainly because of the legendary durability of the Damascus steel that is used to make them.

The process of making Damascus steel involves casting a steel alloy with precise amounts of carbon, magnesium sulfur, phosphorus and other organic materials, which are then heated, hammered and pulled to produce thin steel bars. These bars are then heated, weaved together, and hammered, causing them to fuse together and produce a smooth blade with unique, distinct weaving patterns.

Swords are decorated in various ways, including writing poetry or Quran verses in liquid gold on the blade, inlaying gold and silver into the handle, and inlaying the scabbard with gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, gems, seashell and bone.

The Department of the Damascus Old City is working to revive and support 33 handicrafts which are waning by renovating an old school and transforming it into a market for these handicrafts.

H. Sabbagh / Mazen

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