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More than in other countries, in Syria artisans still ply their trades. Still, modern industry is taking its toll. Machine-made brocades, carpets, glass, and other articles are gradually pushing the handmade products from the markets. Yet, in spite of this overwhelming challenge, the traditional handicrafts have not been overwhelmed. Declared a national treasure, these handicrafts will survive as a world of ancient oriental splendor as long as the Syrian artisans pass their skills down to each succeeding generation.

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Habeeb Salloum is a freelance writer living in Don Mills, Ontario. He also lectures on the Arab world.

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Tags: Syria Cultural Identity Village life Art