Though shops in Aleppo’s Aziziyah district, above, and on Sharia Qawatli are more likely to resemble their western counterparts than those in the world’s oldest covered market, below, the suq is no timeless arcade: Fax machines whir, international magazines inspire dress design, and antiquarian bric-a-brac sells to tourists at a good profit.
Ghassan al Hussein
Appliances, Sharia Qawatli
Internet cafe and pastry shop, Sharia Qawatli
Aleppo vies with Damascus for the title of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Both are mentioned in Eblaite tablets from the third millennium BC, where Aleppo goes by the name Hal-pa-pa, but fine neo-Hittite reliefs recently found in Aleppo’s towering citadel mound may give a slight edge in the antiquity contest to this more northerly of Syria’s two largest cities.