Batroun's Assia prepares to revitalize heritage of handcrafted pottery
Written by Lamia Chedid
Translated by Assaad Maalouf
Assia's municipality, in association with the European Union, is preparing to set a permanent fair for handcrafted pottery. The project allows exhibiting pottery materials like jars and others, as well as training sessions for teaching the production of pottery.
Head of the municipality, Emile Bedran, disclosed ongoing communication with specialized French institutions that can provide support regarding the project. Bedran said, "Our project aims to encourage tourism, environmental and archaeological activities. It will also work to establish a restaurant that serves Lebanese meals with pottery materials.”
"We will strive to organize trips to Assia, where the houses will provide special rooms for the accommodation of tourists, who will also have their breakfast at these houses in the context of a program known as Bed and Breakfast."
Bedran explained the project would encourage farmers to remain in their lands and stick to their hometown, in a way to restrict any displacement from Assia to the city and to revitalize the village on the economic and tourism levels.
Pottery in Assia bears a glorious image of cordial heritage that attracts us to our roots. The insistence of Assia's people on adhering to their hometown and their grandfathers' cultural traditions and heritage helped the village to surpass all the changes emerging from consecutive industrial revolutions.
Up till the end of World War II, most of Assia's people used to rely on pottery handicrafts as a source of livelihood. They used to stroll across different Lebanese regions for bartering pottery materials with consumed food products like grains, fruits, dried vegetables, clothes and light products.
Assia’s pottery is considered to be very distinguished and unique because the soil’s quality and the Qaq salty stone which compose pottery are only found in Assia, according to Fadia Lawoon, one of Assia’s citizens who learned the handicraft from her mother-in-law 40 years ago.