It helps if you know the origins of the words.
The word "chemistry" comes from Greek and Arabic.
Khemeoia was "the art of transmuting metals", and al is the Arabic word for "the".
The Arabic word al-kimiya also gives us the English word "alchemy", and the alchemists were the early chemists.
The Arabic al-qaliy means "the ashes", especially the ashes of the saltwort plant. For several centuries, the Bedouins transported the ashes to Palestine in huge caravans.
The ashes contained large amounts of soda ash (
Sodium carbonate is quite alkaline, and the reaction of fats and oils with alkalis to make soap is an important chemical reaction.