Damascus, SANA-Damascus, one of the oldest cities in the world, whose streets, mountains and even houses, were able to defeat the invaders, while its flowers give peace and love in the face of hatred that the sponsors of terrorism tried to impose and sow.
Ancient flower known for its fragrance
Among the roses, for which Damascus is famous, is the Damask Rose, an ancient flower known for its fragrance and its therapeutic uses, which was considered the ambassador of Syria to the world.
The Greek poet Sappho called her the Queen of Flowers, and the Greek Historian Homer mentioned her in the Iliad and the Odyssey ; and when the English poet Shakespeare wanted to describe beauty in his maximum expression, he said in one of the texts of his plays: “Beautiful as the beautiful Rose of Damascus.” As for the Arab world, the great poet Nizar Qabbani, a native of the city of Damascus, wrote about this flower in his masterpiece (Poemario Damascene).
Symbol of beauty and love
Thanks to its intoxicating fragrance and its dazzling shape, it was considered the symbol of beauty and love, and due to its therapeutic, relaxing, and disinfectant virtues, it was registered in 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) within the representative list of the intangible heritage of humanity.
One of the ancient Greek legends says that the Greek Goddess of Beauty, when she saw the charm and beauty of the city of Damascus, became jealous, and for this reason she created this rose to compete with it in its beauty, and called it the Damascus rose.
The Damascenes confirm that it was so called because it first grew in the land of Damascus.
The town of al-Mrah, about 60 km north of Damascus, is the main producer of the Damask Rose since this town enjoys a special climate characterized by cold winters, and is, as farmers say, one of the towns where the snow stays longer on the mountain peaks and highlands and this climate is very suitable for growing the Damask Rose.
The farmers of al-Mrah grow this Rose in the period between December and March months, and when it blooms in May, they go out with their families to manually collect the roses.
After the harvesting process is complete, the buds of the roses are collected and exposed to the sun for several days to dry, and then brought to the perfumers in the old markets of Damascus, especially the al-Bazourieh popular market.
Rose Water, one of the products extracted from the Damask Rose
One of the most important products of this rose is rose water (Ma Alward, in Arabic) and it is extracted by a machine called “Al-Karakah”, and it is extracted from the distillation of rose petals where every thousand kilograms of roses produces a liter of water.
These rose petal scented waters are rich in vitamins B and E, and are used to soften and care for the skin.
An extensive study from 2011 analyzed the existing evidence on the different properties attributed to these products, including its high content of vitamin C, which is very necessary to synthesize collagen since, being an antioxidant, it protects our skin from aging.This water is also a typical ingredient in the desserts that Syrian women make and use it to flavor sweets and drinks.
The most expensive oil in the world is also extracted from the Damask Rose and the Chinese considered it more valuable than gold and more durable than oil.