In compliance with one of NAYA’s missions to shed light on women from all different backgrounds, we are glad to introduce NAYA’s “Women from our Villages” series. Each month, this series will take you on a journey to one of Lebanon’s villages and introduce you to a woman who has initiated a project to progress her community. To nominate projects for this series, contact NAYA Editor Sally Farhat: firstname.lastname@example.org
BEIRUT: Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, used to bathe in milk, which she thought could beautify and soften her skin. Humans never ceased to seek beauty and pleasant body smell since then, and as the cosmetic industry developed, natural handmade kept on blooming. Rita Mourad decided to remold old rural soap-making recipes, into a unique array of creations she labeled “Ritam."
“I was raised in a village where natural soap-making using olive oil was a daily routine. Never have I lived away from this natural production environment,” she told Annahar.
She thoroughly explained her talent inheritance from her late father, whose passion distinguished him among others in the field.
“We took the ABCs from our ancestors, and now modernizing them into healthy natural soap and essential oils,” she said on the day NAYA met her at the “Souk Aal Souk” farmers’ market in Jeanne d’Arc street, Hamra.
Mourad has been struggling with running her “Ritam” business on her own for over 10 years now, in the heart of Ferzol, Zahlé. But her struggles have so far resulted in success.
“It’s extremely hard for people with low income to participate in all exhibitions and markets and to promote their products. We’re left in the shadows and this tends to discourage many of the local yet passionate rural workers, especially women,” she said.
On the differences one can notice between her somewhat “modern” natural soap and her precursors’, the soap maker specifies that her creations are “more controlled with a more precise pH factor and several scents beyond olive oil.”
Using olive oil from Rachaya Al Foukhar’s village, Mourad mixes between olive oil, snail slime, honey, and a plethora of essential oils she extracts by herself from thyme, mint, laurel, saffron, aloe arborescens, lavender, rosemary, amber flower, and musk.
The final result is an aromatic soap or a bath bomb, creatively shaped as the essential oil’s plant’s shape.
Find Ritam on Facebook: Ritam natural handmade soap or contact her on (+961)-76-004516
Welcome to "NAYA," the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. NAYA is devoted to women of all generations-NAYA Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.email@example.com
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