The first Syrian website that provides e-commerce services was officially launched Wednesday.
“Cyber Souk between the silk roads and the Silicon Valley” are the opening words of Yabazaar.com, selling everything oriental from handicrafts, jewelry, soap and glass arts to excursions in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
“Yabazaar.com grew out of extensive research that begun in 1998: research in the traditional crafts of the Middle East and North Africa as well as research in electronic commerce. Today, Yabazaar claims its place in the global e-commerce arena,” says the website.
The site’s specialty products are traditional crafts, some dating back hundreds of years, and the prices are attractive.
Yabazaar.com aims to encourage the continued production of traditional handicrafts “by creating a market for the artisan.”
The site is affiliated with global internet service provider PSINet, WordPay, and DHL, providing card security, feasible multi-currency internet payment systems, and rapid air-express delivery of products.
Yabazaar.com is controlled by Cyber Trade & Development, which is based in Jersey in the English Channel.
The site’s founder and chief executive is Jamil Kabbara, a former medical consultant at Harvard University with a Ph.D. in Health Economy, said the Daily Star newspaper.
A Damascene who lived in Paris for 25 years, Kabbara began looking into setting up an “e-souq” in 1998. The project began to take shape in July 2000, 18 months after Kabbara started working on it, the paper added.
Working with a team of 12 in Damascus, Kabbara said his company works through a chain of people to bring products from the artisan shops in old Damascus to the customer’s front door in Europe or the Americas – Albawaba.com