Interesting story from Sarah Birke here. She argues that a boom in demand for Syrian woodwork and traditional crafts is compensating for a decline in local customers.
Demand, according to Moazen and his fellow artisans, comes predominantly from the Gulf, Cyprus, Australia and Germany. A whole room, costing $500 to $20,000, depending on the quality of the pieces, is the usual order. “We supply a lot of bedroom, office and living room furniture to Gulf families,” Moazen says. …
It’s a good thing outside interest is rising because local demand is falling, according to the artisans.
Lower-cost plastic and wooden furnishings –- often imported from China -– are popular, and increasing living costs from economic liberalization have dented the finances of the local population.