Excellent Olive Oil Soap from Wadi Nisnas, Haifa

I prefer bar soap over liquid soap, especially for washing my body.

Unfolding the wrapping, inhaling the powdery scent and then holding the chunk of soap in my hand, wonderful. There is something so rudimentary and down-to-earth about old-fashioned soap bars and the action of working the wet bar into a nice generous lather.

Bar soap is more environment-friendly than liquid soap because it mostly comes in thin cardboard boxes or paper wrapping, as opposed to the plastic dispensers of liquid soap. It also generally contains less fragrance and other chemical additives.

I use a genuine olive-oil soap bar, which I buy in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood in Haifa. Good quality and cheap.

“Wadi Nisnas neighborhood connects, ever since it was set up in the course of the 19th century, between the Hadar neighborhood and Haifa’s downtown. The neighborhood was built as an Arab workers’ neighborhood, turned during the British Mandate period into an active and thriving urban quarter until it was conquered by the “Haganah” forces in 1948. While most of its Arab residents left Haifa at the end of the War of Independence, about 3000 of them chose to stay in the city, some of them in Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. Also currently, most of the neighborhood residents are Arabs, who maintained and preserved the neighborhoods’ Arab identity, including the neighborhood stone buildings, the narrow alleys, the colorful market and more.

Strolling through the alleys of Wadi Nisnas, and all the more so through the market alleys, evokes quite a few of our senses. The ancient form of construction with Limestone, the arched balconies, the yards planted with vines and pomegranates take us back to the past, creating a rural atmosphere in the heart of the city. These picturesque sights are easily endeared to the eye, being just the first sense that comes alive during a tour in the Wadi. For the sense of smell walking through the Wadi streets constitutes a most special experience. The scent of coffee just being roasted, the spices, familiar more or less, the fresh vegetables and fruits not to be found in any supermarket, and of course the scent of cooked food dishes are carried through the Wadi streets and it is hard to remain indifferent to them.”


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