The geographical location of El-Mina on the shore helped obviously in building many ports from the Phoenician times until nowadays, which contributed in prospering the trade field in El-Mina. The city of El Mina has a great commercial importance since old times, when the first port in the north was not only open for Tripoli and El-Mina trading, but also for Syria’s one. This port was a center of exportation and importation for many Arab countries and some European countries. This port was full of boats, which encouraged consuls from France, England, America, Austria, Russia and Holland to live in El Mina city. After this port’s prosperity, El-Mina witnessed the construction of commercial institutions, agencies, hotels, Khans, customs centers, railroads and the International Center for Insemination. This port was known, since long time, by its natural location that constitutes, by itself, a wide place for boats from one side, depending on the direction of wind.


Tripoli (El-Mina) was known, for many years, by many manual works, because of the abundant development of sugarcane around the city, which caused many factories to be established for squeezing and industrializing it. El-Mina was exporting to Europe, until the end of middle ages, provisions of sugar in its various forms available at that time. The sugar production was not the only one in El-Mina, there was also the paper production that contributed in spreading the movement of writing and building libraries and knowledge houses. In addition, there was the tissue production that attracted the French when they occupied the Al-Sham region’s coast, production and preservation of ice tablets, soap and olive oil production and silk sewing.

Arab Sweets
El-Mina became a target to Tripoli and the North’s citizens for buying delicious sweets. During the month of Ramadan, everyone notices the selling of Aleppo Karbuj that is one of the most favorable sweets, and that is made only from 11 am until the moment of non-fasting of this month. There are even some shops not specialized in Karbuj, that sell it only during this month, and all merchants of sweets stop produce at the end of Ramadan.


The pottery goes back to hundreds of years (around 255 to 300 years) and it exists on the western coast of El-Mina, according to the Wāli’s (Turkish governor) decision at the end of the Ottoman reign. Before that, the pottery was near Ezzeddine tour, then in "al-fāħūra" tour. Nowadays, the focus is on producing vases, although the eternit is lately competing with it in presenting many different shapes.


Boats’ construction

The ship, or the "flūka" as the fishermen say, is the essential tool for fishing, thus it has a great importance. Boats are made in many sizes, like the little sailing boat or rowing boat, and the motor engine boat that is the easiest and the biggest. As for the time taken to build a boat, it varies between 2 to 3 months, depending on the size and the length ranging from 4 to 15 meters.


Ships construction

The alphabet was launched through the sea on a ship from Lebanon, to declare that a nation, having a will to live, will not have a life of deception and weakness. El-Mina was known, for long time ago, by the construction of ships. Antigonos, one of the Alexander’s successors, was interested, during his 11-year reign (312-301 B.C.) over Tripoli (El-Mina), in building ships from the wood of high Lebanese mountains, and finished by forming a great marine for him. During the Mamluks’ reign, the Empire’s representatives, and sometimes the Sultans, had a lot of interest about ships construction, especially the military ones. In the middle of 20th century, and especially around the year 1955, the first metallic ship "Nada" was launched in the sea; it was designed and executed by Mohamed Yehya, and was able to support until 500 tons. This had lead to the construction of many metallic ships. El-Mina had an important role in forming the Umayyad marine that Muawiya had used during his attacks in the Mediterranean. Nowadays, there is a dry dock in El-Mina for the boats’ maintenance.


Fishing is one of the most important economic activities in El-Mina, and it constitutes the main occupation for more than three thousand families living from it. This was due to geographical location of the city surrounded by the sea from the three sides. Recently, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation have built a port for the fishermen, in order to protect their boats against sea storms, in a condition that this project involves building a modern fishery and keeping it available to the fishers through their syndicate.


During the Islamic Age, El-Mina was known by the agriculture of citrus fruits, sugarcanes, fruits and olives. As for the 18th and 19th centuries, they witnessed the agriculture of olives, oranges, mulberries, bananas, dates and grenadines. The prosperity of mulberry's agriculture was due to the good care of silkworms, which was well spread in Lebanon during that period. At the end of the 19th century, the citizens of El-Mina and Tripoli uprooted the grenadine trees and planted instead lemon trees. Now, after the invasion of high buildings on the gardens and farms in El-Mina, different kinds of fruits, which were known in the city for many years, have been disappeared, keeping only some gardens of orange and lemon trees.