The Aleppo Project Fellow Armenak Tokmajyan studies the development of the armed conflict in Aleppo, the evolution of armed groups and government forces, and their military tactics and strategies. The timeline analyzes the Geneva Peace Process and its implications on the ground. The report also sheds light on the humanitarian situation in the divided city. The extensive report includes 35 original maps designed by the author.
The report will be updated at the beginning of every month.
The last two weeks of April 2016 will have sealed the connection between Aleppo and war for many decades to come. Just as the words Beirut and car bomb are inextricably linked, so will be Aleppo and barrel bomb. Certain places become tied to the pitiless nature of war: Hiroshima, Dresden, Biafra, Sarajevo, Stalingrad, Hue. And now Aleppo.
Aleppo’s war will be remembered for the immediacy with which the world has seen its horrors. No longer does it take time for us to know about the bombing of the Al Quds Hospital as it is live tweeted. Just hours later it was possible to see chilling images of Dr. Mohammad Massim Maaz, the last pediatrician at work in eastern Aleppo, walking between wards just before the government killed him in an airstrike.
Hakam holding younger brother Shahim - around 2000
Jasmine tree from the terrace - Nour Chaar 2010
Liwan upstairs at sunset - AlHakam Shaar 2010
Parents' bedroom facade with window glass broken from barrel bombing next door - AlHakam Shaar Oct 2014
Upstairs bedroom interior - AlHakam Shaar 2010
Upstairs bedroom recedes to allow more light and air downstairs - AlHakam Shaar 2010
When I bought and renovated a house in the Old City of Aleppo, I was asked by the Syrian Engineers Syndicate to assess the experience. I told the cultural committee represented by Mr. Khaldoun Fansa that I would follow an Arab expression that you don’t make a judgment on something for a year and seven months. After that time I gave this lecture to the Syndicate. It has been translated, edited and updated and now also includes the view of two of my children.
I was born in 1950 in what we call an “Arabic house,” a stone building built around a courtyard, sheltered from its neighbors and housing just one family. It was in the Al Bustan area of Aleppo, by the southern gate of the Saray palace and just inside the eastern wall of the old city. We left in 1954 to live in al-Ansari in a house that was similar to an Arabic house in that we lived there alone without neighbors above or below us.