Creative wooden handicrafts in the old markets of Aleppo

 Artisan Mustafa Karazon is one of the creative artisans in making various wood products. He turns wood by his skillful hands into exquisitely made masterpieces that are used to package sweets and food products, especially dairy, in addition to the old heritage sieves, and wooden measures and scales used by rural people in producing and marketing their agricultural crops.


Karazon, who spent more than seventy years in this profession, says that he restored and rehabilitated his shop in old Aleppo, which was destroyed   by terrorism, adding that he loved the profession of his fathers and grandfathers, as he had learned it at an early age using old machines, some of which are more than two hundred years old. Through these machines, he manufactured the old wooden molds to make boxes for sweets, jams, molasses, and milk that the owners of heritage shops wish to offer as gifts and souvenirs to shoppers and tourists.

He pointed out that he will continue to work in this profession, which he has always loved despite the difficulties he faces, in the hope of teaching and passing it on to those who wish in order to preserve this traditional craft.

The old artisan indicated that the stages of producing any piece start with choosing the required type of wood either willow or walnut, then using the old machine to bend it according to the desired pattern.

The final stage of manual work is completed by fixing the small pieces using a hammer, glue, and small nails.

A few meters away, in his restored shop in old Aleppo, the artisan Muhammad Karkar makes special sieves for all kinds of grain and olives to continue working in his ancestral profession, which he is keen today to teach to his children. Karkar does his job brilliantly as he cuts the wood and installs it through the custom mold, adds the required types of nets, cuts the leather for olive sieves and installs it on the wooden frame.

Karkar pointed out that there is a great demand for his products by rural people who tour the old markets of Aleppo to buy the tools they need.

Amal Farhat