Syria is considered to be the second Arabic country after Tunis in producing first type ofolive oil which is known for being of high quality and low rate of sourness in it. Previously Syria was among the countries importing it due to the superabundant quantity it had; where this oil and the dishes made with it were basic dishes for its delicious taste that no Syrian house missed it since it was included in the list of subsistence to be stored in its season for the next year in order to be available all the year.
“Oil country lack oil, where we have reached”, this what “Abo Akram” from Hama city that is held by regime forces said after he was excited on the way to buy a can of olive oil produced this current season, but he was shocked when the merchant informed him it is 28 thousand Syrian pounds; that is why he returned disappointed with bare hands cause he did not enough money. He was shocked that he sighed the days of olive oil before at the time bounties were plenty where relatives and neighborhoods gave its green and black fruits to each other as gifts, he said:” this country become out of bounties”.
The olive oil can in Idlib city and its countryside that are held by the Syrian opposition forces becomes 24 thousand Syrian pounds equalizing 44 dollars for fresh oil and 21 thousand Syrian pounds for the one produced last season. Although the can of olive oil price is cheaper, many citizens can not afford it the thing force them to replace it with a cheaper vegetable oil where the letter of it is 600 Syrian pounds; it is tasteless and not good as the blessed olive oil but people are helpless being unable to afford the olive oil unfortunately . War in Syria has made the prices of basic foodstuff doubled after olive oil can weighting 16 KG , for example, was 25 thousand Syrian pounds.
Who own olive orchard completely know the reason of olive oil expensiveness where the can got ten times doubled than last year. This is due to the high hires of workers in harvest time because no one will risk his live for low hires; less than 3000 Syrian pound a day particularly in liberated areas near engagement fronts witnessing mutual shelling, in addition to high costs of transportation and squeezing reaching 20 pounds a kilo considering missing electricity and counting on generators.
“Om-Khaled” is displaced from Aleppo countryside:” We used to have so many orchards that we did not try vegetable oil and margarine. We used to cook every dish with olive oil. However, now after we lose our lands and orchards, we would like to taste it again unfortunately”.
Probably the most important reason in its expensiveness is that there are many orchards located in continual clashes areas , besides fruitful trees being cut down in order to be used in warming for winter coming soon after heating fuel is extremely expensive.
By Samah Alkhaled
Translated by Sabah Najem