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Namlieh "The Pantry"

When saying the word "Namlieh", we unconsciously remember our ancestors and how they used the save leftover food and supplies in a safe place so as not to be affected by heat or cold weather. Namliey used to work as a refrigerator in modern times, and it was made from strong wood that lasts for many years withstanding the coldest and hottest seasons of life

The word Namlieh comes from ants, which means that ants are collected. They were manufactured in a tight manner so that insects, ants and animals could not enter them.

It had a wooden structure similar to a wardrobe, where food is placed inside to protect it from dust and insects and provide air entry through the iron mesh (soft sieve), which covers most of the front face, and it was painted green or blue. Length, width and height are made according to the owner of the Namlieh and the back ((Namlieh's top)) is made of thick wood to withstand heavyequipment such as hammer and meat skewers and anything metalic at home.

It was divided into three sections, the top includes three shelves covered with two doors open to provide air through the fine sieve,where  the mothers would put  food.The middle section includes two or three drawers to place spoons, knives, cups, trays and cooking supplies, while the bottom section includes large jars, oil cans, Small canvas bags with lentils, rice, bulgur, freekeh, dry grains such as beans, peas, cowpea,

sugar, salt, dried tea, thyme inside and the jars of pickling, cheese and labneh with oil and olives and mortar that require keeping away from sunlight.

Over time, the role of Namlieh was diminished in houses and replaced by modern refrigerators.


Lara Khouli.