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Smoking spa hopes to bring Sudanese traditions to Edmonton

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The owners of Dukhan Body Smoking Spa hope their clients experience Sudanese beauty and culture when they step inside.

Mozan Elmusharaf and Sarah Ahmed say beauty treatments are an everyday occurrence in Sudan and wanted to bring the experience to women in Edmonton.

They believe beauty is more than skin deep and a way to reflect on their cultural heritage.

“It was something that they did regularly to take care of themselves, to take care of their mental health, to bond with each other,” Elmusharaf told CTV News Edmonton.

Their spa offers body scrubs using all natural ingredients from Sudan, Moroccan baths, cupping, sugar waxing and their staple: body smoking.

Body smoking is a traditional practice typically performed by married women or those preparing for marriage.

“Especially in Sudan, they take getting married very, very seriously and the preparation process is almost three months before the actual wedding of just self care,” said Elmusharaf.

“Body scrubs, hair masks, different kind of healthy eating habits, you do the whole nine yards just to prepare for that moment and make sure you look and feel your best.”

Dukhan, the names of their spa, translates to smoke in Arabic.

“It is known to tighten the skin, it’s known to have anti-aging properties, it has a natural tan glow that offers to your skin,” said Ahmed.

The pair say political unrest in Sudan has made it difficult for people to visit home. In 2020, they decided to bring their traditional beauty practices to Edmonton.

“The inspiration really was sharing our culture with the rest of the world and giving Sudanese diaspora a safe place to come,” said Elmusharaf.

Jacqueline Biollo is a returning customer who first discovered the spa during a girls day session.

“It always feels like a little escape if you can’t get away for a vacation, you come here and the ambiance and how I leave is certainly refreshing,” Biollo said.

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