• Aleppo

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 9:22 AM
    Last Update : Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 9:22 AM

Syrians in Aleppo Turn Firewood into Charcoal in Search of Income

(AWP) - Many Syrians displaced to northern areas have had to seek professions and crafts in which they have no experience or knowledge in search of sources of income to provide for themselves and their families.

One of these jobs that has significantly spread is the conversion of firewood into charcoal which relies on simple tools suiting the financial capabilities of displaced Syrians who do not have the capital enabling them to purchase modern machinery.

The process begins with the collection of wood from the valleys and plains and then transporting it on the backs of mules or donkeys to the workshops, where workers chop and prepare it over several stages.

Abu Faisal, a worker turning firewood into charcoal says, “It starts with chopping and preparing firewood to a uniform length. We then arrange it in a pyramidal shape, a circular pyramid, and cover it with straw and leaves. Later on, we bury it under soil. We keep burning it four or five days and at most six days.”

Wood carbonization requires accumulated experience which was not something the displaced people had, despite being forced to work in this field to support their families and improve their living conditions.

Abu Hamid, an owner of a carbonization workshop says, “In the beginning, we did not have any experience. We were displaced from our homes to the area of Afrin, where the main and only work there is firewood and charcoal. We worked for two or three months until we learned.”

Workers in this business say it is not without its difficulties and risks, such as the amputation of fingers, or respiratory diseases like asthma as a result of prolonged exposure to smoke and fire, with no nearby medical centers nearby to treat the injured.

Workshop owners also complain about their low profits as they face difficulties marketing their products and traders controlling price determination, in addition to the weather conditions which impact their work.