From Baghdad via Erbil, Dubai & New York: The Prosperity Pillar Candles Arrive!

December 09, 2010

Beda and Tila, the Bhutanese refugees who are working with us, are busy putting finishing touches on the rows of deep berry pillar candles that have just arrived from Iraq. It is a compelling scene – one that connects a woman in Baghdad with a refugee from Bhutan, each sharing in this transformative vision for enterprise through the healing power of light.

4 Iraqi Women Proudly Displaying a Candle

For these pillar candles coming out of Iraq, this has been a long and arduous journey delayed by acts of terrorism, religious holidays, violence erupting in the region, and the sheer logistical complexity of transporting candles out of Iraq to the United States.  The journey began with 28 of our Prosperity Entrepreneurs in Baghdad skillfully creating 4,500 3×4 pillar candles in the course of several months.  Of these, 4 women spent many hours packing the candles in sturdy cardboard boxes at our offices in Baghdad.  Everyone on the Iraqi team is working hard to meet our Holiday deadline.

But, things are not to go smoothly.  Violence erupts in the neighborhoods of Baghdad on the very day that the candles were to be shipped out so they are hurriedly driven out of the city in a truck up to the city of Erbil in the northern Kurdish territory of Iraq. From here, they were to be flown out via Jordanian Airlines to Dubai, but because it is the time of Eid, the week-long holy Muslim festival during which everything comes to a standstill, the planes remain grounded on the tarmac.

There is a sense of urgency and yet things are out of our hands. A week later, the candles leave Erbil for Dubai where they are held up again – this time because of terrorist activity in Yemen.  All outbound and inbound freight is put on standby…  our candles are held up again, this time with no guarantee of whether they will be cleared. Will it take days? Weeks or months? There is no guarantee and we feel helpless!

At each stage, Ted and Tanin, our Turkish shipping genie, are making appeals  to people in Iraq, Jordan, Dubai and Turkey to help release this very special cargo of candles that represents the hopes and dreams of the women in Baghdad. The deadline to send out the candles to our customers looms!

And today, on this freezing New England evening, as Beda and Tila put the finishing touches on the candles, we all collectively sigh with relief.  Miracle of miracles, our shipment of candles are here now, having been put on a flight from Dubai to New York earlier than expected and clearing U.S. Customs in record time. Within 24 hours of landing, the candles are on a truck destined for our warehouse.

Tomorrow, December 10 th – the first of our shipments to our customers is being sent out! Needless to say, we are all celebrating!

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Fragrance Guide

Unique soy blend fair trade candles handcrafted by women artisans candles at Prosperity Candle

Amber & Bergamot

Warm and inviting, amber and bergamot combined with subtle notes of geranium, black cardamom, sandalwood and eucalyptus.

Blue Fir & Spice 

Wonderfully fragrant blue fir pine needles combined with cedarwood, bright citrus and a touch of spice evoke the spirit of the holidays.

Chai Tea

Green tea mixed with a cozy blend of cinnamon, clove, cardamom and peppermint reminds you of your favorite tea spot.

Chamomile & Sage

Deeply restful chamomile and fresh sage combine in this soothing herbal, creating an atmosphere of calm and well-being that everyone loves.

Clementine & Lavender

A bright, fresh citrus scent of clementine, tangerine, bergamot and lemon… nicely balanced with French lavender. If you love citrus with a subtle twist, this is for you.

Fig & Citrus

Clean and slightly sweet, fresh figs infused with grapefruit, a hint of orange, and lemon zest atop an earthy base of cedar and oakmoss. Wonderfully nuanced, it’s our favorite fig scent.

French Vanilla & Oak

Sweet, familiar and deeply comforting, French vanilla combined with oak, sandalwood, grapefruit and sea salt with a hint of clove. A unique take on a classic.

Ocean Breeze

There is nothing like a fresh ocean breeze… clean and buoyant ocean air with a joyful blend of freesia, water lilies, lotus and tuberose offers a truly uplifting ambiance.

Orange Blossom & Waterlily

Fragrant orange blossoms mingle with water lily, iris and clementine leaves above a base note of vetiver. This is a delightfully elegant, soft floral.

Sandalwood & Oakmoss

The warmth of sandalwood blended with Baltic oakmoss, a touch of amber, and hint of patchouli give rise to this gentle wood scent – a perennial favorite.


Completely fragrance-free.
Perfect for centerpieces, dinner candles and those who prefer no scent.

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