Syria’s last traditional boat-makers keep ancient craft afloat

Khaled Bahlawan hammers nails into a traditional wooden boat he built by hand, toiling under the scorching sun on Syria’s Mediterranean coast to preserve a disappearing ancient skill. “We are the last family that makes wooden ships and boats in Syria,” said the 39-year-old on the shores of Arwad Island, near the city of Tartus. “This is the legacy of our ancestors… We are fighting to preserve it every day”. Located about three kilometres (less than two miles) off the coast, Arwad is Syria’s only inhabited island and a haven of peace in a country torn by 11 years of war. Hundreds of workers, residents and visitors commute to and from there every day in wooden boats, mostly built by the Bahlawan family. >click to read< To see a complete photo gallery, >click here to view< 16:14

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