That breathtaking beauty, the pomegranate, is known as the fruit of heaven. This wonderful fruit is celebrated at a beautiful village near Latakia, Syria, which has always been famous for producing pomegranates.
"This is the fifth year we celebrate Pomegranate Eid in Jaiboul "village,” said Hazem, one of the citizens of Jaiboul, and a pomegranate expert. He explained that 'Jaiboul' is a Syriac name that means ‘The Goddess of the Valley.’ This village is a picturesque spot that is also rich with water springs, perfect for the cultivation of pomegranates.
The Fruit’s Importance To Jaiboul's History
"This village was famous for producing pomegranates because of having a lot of springs. People there used to exchange pomegranates with other crops with other villages, like legumes, grains and other products." And in describing the fruit’s ancient importance, Hazem said, " this fruit used to be very important for the area, for lots of things. For instance, in winter if anyone got sick, whatever the symptoms were, they used to give them pomegranate as a cure."
Pomegranate Eid Rituals
"Rituals were simple, modest, and intimate, within an atmosphere of harmony and kindness, and hospitality which characterises the countryside. About 60 guests arrived in the afternoon, and a rural lady from the village had prepared lunch for them, and they ate together in one of the prettiest gardens, in which there are pomegranate trees that are more than 100 years old."
Hazem went on," after lunch, pomegranate products were ready and they were, fresh juice, 'Debs,' condensed juice, that is in three types, "sweet, sour and 'Laffan'. Laffan means "in the middle between sweet and sour," and there was a new product, " Halawat Al Romman," made by adding sesame flour to sweet debs in a certain amount, which is luxury dining with a high protein level and high nutritional values, " he said with pride.
Rania, who is one of the regular visitors said, " during al Eid, we were told about ways to take care of 'Romman' trees, and how to benefit from the fruit, with information about its nutritional values."
Marketing Ladies' products
The visitors during Pomegranate Eid has bought the products after tasting them, and drinking the fresh juice in a hospitable and warm atmosphere, and other people ordered the products, and this has been a great step to encourage rural women to make pomegranate products, instead of getting rid of pomegranate trees, and to make a living at the same time.
Hazem commented, " the women are at the age of retirement, and some are over 65, and they are healthy, successful, and able to produce, and make their living instead of being unproductive."
And in addition, the juice can be kept without a refrigerator for almost a year, and without preservatives, being 100% natural.
A Woman Friendly Product
Marketing the women's products was one of the main goals of this beautiful Eid, and it worked, and encouraged them to take up activities that can make money, by using nature-friendly materials.
There have also been social goals achieved, to get people together and have an intellectual and cultural exchange, and partly use it all to achieve environment issues.
One of the goals was bringing the city people to the village to be introduced to nature, and let them live the simple village life. The life of hospitality and kindness, and to be able to buy natural products at lower prices, and with guaranteed quality, according to Hazem.
Most importantly, the environmental goals which are encouraging the planting of pomegranates are also being carried out, because it is very easy to plant. Just cut its branches and plant them in soil, and water, and in three years you can have the fruits, said Hazem.
Rania, who is also enthusiastic about the pomegranate, said, "we have to shed light on this fruit, because of its health benefits, now we go to this Eid every year, and its quality is great." She described the rural women saying, " they were happy to introduce us to their products, and giving us details about the way they made them, and they were generous, too. Their products are clean, guaranteed and most importantly, original.
"Such celebrations have to be celebrated, and more and people should be introduced to nature," Rania said. And Hazem's message was, " every civilised person has to plant a number of trees throughout his/her life. I encourage everyone to plant and consume this fruit of heaven."