Dating back 10,000 years, Iraq’s traditional sweets are widely loved in the Arab world as well as further afield.
Ali Al-Musawi, a local sweet shop worker in Babylon, says that he “sees this work as a hobby” and is “actively working to turn this into a long term profession”.
Hassan Ali, a sweet shop owner, says he has been working in this industry for nine years and is very passionate about his job. He describes the confectionery industry as one that “people always associate with skill but also with positivity”.
Ibrahim Sami, another local sweet shop owner in Babylon, explains the reason behind his choice of profession adding that “it is entertaining, and contains a lot of art and creativity, in addition, it teaches me patience through the great efforts that I maintain while making sweets”. He specialises in making “sweet cheese and kunafa, which is one of Iraq’s famous sweets.”
Sweet shop owners Al-Moussawi and Sami felt that “it was not enough to manufacture and sell sweets only inside Iraq and instead we export our sweets abroad”. Most of their exports are focused on geographically neighboring countries, particularly in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, in addition to Europe.