A worker displays traditional Syrian delicacies at a shop in Damascus' Midan neighbourhood on September 11, 2017. AFP / LOUAI BESHARA
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Syria's grinding conflict has brought bitterness to producers of the country's renowned Middle Eastern sweets, but after years of struggle they say business is finally picking up again.At the Daoud Brothers sweet shop in the capital Damascus, 20 workers surround large metal platters, preparing hundreds of wafer-thin barazek, a famed Syrian biscuit dotted with pistachio pieces and coated in sesame seeds.Syria's Arabic sweets were once a leading export as well as a must-have souvenir for visiting tourists.Parts of Damascus province outside the capital are some of the last remaining strongholds of Syria's rebel forces, but in recent months fighting has dropped off thanks to the implementation of a "de-escalation" zone in the region.Elsewhere in the country, Syria's regime has recovered territory, backed by ally Russia, restoring supply and export routes.There are no publicly available official figures contrasting sales and exports in the sweets sector before the war and at present.In recent years, the store has opened branches abroad, four of them in Germany and a fifth in Jordan, which sell both sweets made locally and imported from Syria.Even if exports are picking up, local consumption remains slow.
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