This project aims to document all products derived from the Awassi sheep, especially wool and leather, as well as practices related to these products such as spinning, handloom weaving, dyeing wool, leather tanning, and making leather shoes and bags. It also record the practice and process of creating these handicrafts by using spindles, hammers, anvils, and scrapers. The significance of documenting this aspect of heritage is that it forms a part of the Palmyrene people’s daily lives.

The main methodology that used in this project will take the form of face-to-face interviews with the people from Palmyra. It will also include processes of observation, and ethnographic analysis. The documentation will be recorded in videos, photographs, text, video, audio-visual materials, and reports.



The goals of this project are as follows:

  • Documenting a Palmyrene cultural tradition concerning leather and wool of Awassi sheep.
  • Saving one of the Palmyrene folk culture traditions from the risk of extinction and taking the necessary measures to preserve it from further deterioration.
  • “A voice to the voiceless”. It gives those displaced a voice to express their inherited cultural practices and traditions. Moreover, the goal of preserving important elements of this heritage will be implemented through a community-based project with massive participation.
  • Women involvement: Women are a key factor in preserving this type of heritage and further, their participation is at the core of reaching the aims of this project.
  • Raising awareness of the cultural heritage of Palmyra among the displaced Palmyerens, Syrians, and the international community.
  • By establishing an audio, visual, and written database of this folklore, the project will ensure the Know-how transmission to the next generation with all related tools and techniques.
  • Better understanding of climate change impact: It would give a brief understanding of the effects of climate change on livestock and agriculture in the Syrian Badia.


Primary Applicant:
Hasan Ali

Lamis Kadah
Yousef Awad

Location of Research:
Gaziantep, Urfa, and Reyhanlı, Turkey

Host Institution:
Heritage For Peace Organization


Top Banner Image: Awassi sheep in Palmyrene steppe (Photo: Hasan Ali)