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Places to visit in Tripoli-Lebanon :
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Churches
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Clock tower
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Districts
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Fountains
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Hammams
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Kalaa
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Khanqah
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Khans
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Maarad
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Madrassah
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Mosques
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Palaces
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Soap Factories
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Souks
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Statues
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Towers

 

The traditional soap industry in Tripoli-Lebanon is one of the oldest industries in the city. Major families in Tripoli like " Zouk " and " Adra " had their own soap factories that produced hand made soap over the years. In Tripoli we call the soap factory  " Al-Masbaneh " .

All main components of Tripoli's soap is being brought from the Olive trees located on the top hills of Tripoli. There is different kinds of soap that varies in shape,odor and color ... the most famous type is the one made from " Zeit Al Zeitoun " and also the one with perfume added to it " Al Sabou Al Mouattar ". The soap passes by different manufacturing phases and the hardest one is called " Soap Shaping " or in Arabic " Nahet Al Saboun " and this process is made manually using a knife.

A well known historical place in Tripoli related to that industry is      " Khan As Saboun ".

Soap Khan ( Khan Al-Saboun )
The Khán as-Sáboun (Soap Khan) was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century by Yusuf al-Saifi, pasha of Tripoli . Originally it was intended to serve as a military barracks to garrison Ottoman troops and it was purposely built in the center of the city to enable the pasha to control any uprising. It is a large imposing rectangular structure with two story arcaded corridors running around a fountain courtyard. The outer walls had a number of loopholes and arrow slits for defense purposes. In front of the building was an arched portal, flanked by stone benches for the pasha’s guards. A white marble plaque commemorates the building of this splendid military barracks of Tripoli.

During the battle of Anjar, Yusuf Pasha was taken prisoner. When Tripoli fell to Fakhr-ed-Din, the Ottoman garrison fled to join his routed forces in Syria. The army of Fakhr-ed-Din occupied the barracks briefly but in the years that followed the building stood empty and useless.

To the inhabitants of Tripoli this seemed to be a great waste so a petition was sent to Deir al-Qamar, the residence of Fakhr-ed-Din, with the request to turn the building into a soap factory and warehouse. From that day until the present time the Ottoman barracks have served as Tripoli’s flourishing Soap Khan or Khãn as-Sáboun..

 

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