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Photographer's Note

Khan al-Sabun (Soap Bazaar) is, as the name suggests, specialized in offering and manufacturing natural handmade scented soap and body beauty products.

The soap industry flourished in the Levant since the recollection of humankind due to the large production of olives on the east Mediterranean coasts. However, while Nabulus in Palestine traditionally rivaled Tripoli's soap production, Tripolitan soap-makers were characterised by a peculiar sophistication in the industry of aromatic & therapeutic soap, as well as the decorated soap bars used for decorative and gift purposes.

Other Arab, Mediterranean and European countries were traditional markets for Tripolitan soaps which necessitated the construction of the Soap bazaar and caravanserai in the beginning of the 14th to became the first soap trade center in the area acquiring a prestigious post in the international trade world.

Tipolitan artisans and merchant soap-makers later expanded their industry into the Syrian province of Halab (Aleppo) to serve their expanding Turkish and Caucasian markets.

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Additional Photos by Aleksandar Dekanski (dekanski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 191 W: 98 N: 304] (2998)
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