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Donkey milk soap’s demand soars in Jordan

Jordanian customers are increasingly eager to buy chemical-free donkey milk soap manufactured in a first-of-its-kind project in the region, local media said.

Friends and family initially mocked one Jordanian family’s venture to make soap from donkey milk.

But now, a year on, the company is cleaning up, as customers bray for more.

Atan Donkey Milk Soaps produces 100 per cent natural soaps from its farm in Madaba, 35 kilometres south-west of the capital Amman.

It keeps 12 donkeys there and also has a small manufacturing workshop in the Jordanian capital.

Although other regions around the Mediterranean produce soap from donkey milk, this is the first for Jordan.

Donkey milk is said to be rich in minerals and proteins that can help moisturise the skin.

It also has high levels of antioxidants, which protect the skin from sunlight and the effects of ageing, according to beauticians.

Now in her 60s, Ms Al Zubi helps mix ingredients in the company’s Amman workshop, wearing a face mask and gloves to ensure hygiene levels.

“At the beginning, many laughed at the idea,” said Emad Attiyat, 32, co-founder of the business – which takes its name from the Arabic for a jenny or female donkey, “atan”.

Sceptics scoffed they “would use nothing on their skin related to donkeys,” said Mr Attiyat, who has a degree in management information systems.

“After trying the soap, all that changed, and now we produce more than 4,500 bars of soap per month to meet the demand,” he said.

Olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil and shea butter are added to the donkey milk to produce the soap, which is then sold through the Atan Donkey Milk Soaps Facebook page.

A 85-gram bar of soap costs 8 Jordanian dinars ($11), while a large 125-gram bar retails at 10 dinars.

By comparison, a litre of donkey’s milk in Europe can fetch as much as 60 euros ($70) and is used in making expensive cheeses.

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