DAMASCUS - Syrian-made wood furniture inlaid with mother of pearl is prized in the region. But international financial sanctions are blocking export.
Aimed at pressuring the Syrian government to negotiate peacefully with domestic political activists, the rapidly enforced sanctions have blocked credit card sales and currency transfers.
A furniture maker from Damascus told the New York Times she had to hand deliver cash to a supplier in Lebanon after here money transfer from Syria was blocked. An Abu Dhabi hotel for which she is designing furniture asked that work in progress be shipped immediately so that it would not be held up as sanctions increase.
Akbik in Evanston, IL, sells a selection of Syrian carved wood furnishings, including cushioned chairs and throne-line benches, many elaborately embellished with Mother of Pearl, others more restrained, such as the octagon table shown here.
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