Syria’s Oldest Wool Carpets Factory:

Syria Times visited the government -own wool carpets factory in al-Qadam suburb, 5kms southern Damascus.

“This factory is the oldest wool carpet factory in the region. It was a privately  owned factory which was later nationalized after the 8th of March Revolution in 1963. Syria is the only state in the world which produces one hundred percent wool-made carpets. The Syrian government has two wool carpet factories, onein Damascus and the other in Sweida.” Engineer George Saffar, the Director of the Damascus Wool Carpet Factory said to Syria Times during a meeting in his office.

“We produce the carpets from Syrian wool and cotton threads which are produced at the government factories in Hama. We only import jute from India or Bangladesh. Our carpets are produced from hundred percent natural materials.”

Engineer George Saffarattributed the demand for buying the products of the factory to the quality and diversity of inscriptions and colors and to the need for carpets with the advent of winter.

The Syrian wool carpets industry was the most prominent one in the Arab world, but the ongoning war on Syria affected negatively on it.

According to Engineer George Saffar, the war on Syria affected the factory’s works and production. The terrorist armed groups seized the factory in 2013. In early 2014, the Syrian army re-took al-Qadam region and liberated the factory. The terrorists sabotaged the factory’s equipment, machines and looms. the factory has 16 machine looms,but todayonly 8 machine looms are working.

Engineer George Saffarpointed to the difficulties facing the factory which are represented in importing spare parts for machinery dating back to the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’smodels of  East Germany made machine looms. They are out of date.

The Syrian government is facing difficulties in importing spare parts and new machines from Germany and Jute from Asian states as a result of the economic siege and sanctions.

“We have a big serious problem which is the sheer shortage of professional experience male workforce. The young men are not interested in working on making carpets,” Engineer George Saffar said with sad face.

“The private factories are paying more salaries to take our professional workers. I have only 118 workers and employees and I am doing my best to keep them at work in the factory. It is very hard to get and train a carpet maker.” Engineer George Saffar said

There are 8 machine looms that are not working because of the terrorist sabotage deeds and the American -European sanctions

The carpets are taken to the warehouse where Abu Ja’afr, the warehouse keeper, write their sizes and details in his lists.

The factory has a big saleshall where Nadigida Ibrahim deals with people  with a smile on her face and warm hospitality for  customers and buyers.

Omar Guma’ah, a very active carpetmaker, explains the types and sizes of wool-made carpet in the saleshall.

“The Acrylic and Nylon -made carpets have new modern designs but the traditional wool-made carpets give warmth and show the Syrian history of carpet making industry.” 

“ I advise all my relatives and friends to use wool carpets in their homes and officeswhich last longer timthan the new modern Acrylic and Nylon carpets,” Omar Guma’ah said.

End.

 

Intervieweed by Obaida Hama /Inas Abdullkareem

Photos by : Obaida Hama

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