February 2016

All posts from February 2016


by The Aleppo Project on February 29, 2016

Amid all the rising anxieties in Europe about refugees, it is worth remembering that people from Syria have been moving far and wide for thousands of years. Many centuries ago people from what is now Syria had spread as far as the distant edges of the Roman Empire, where they married locals and lived their lives among strangers.

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The number of Syrian Students in Turkish Universities is increasing (TodaysZaman)

Higher Education for Syria

by John Shattuck and Robert Templer on February 29, 2016

BUDAPEST – Educating refugee children was high on the agenda when donors met in London in early February for a record-setting day of fundraising for Syria. As Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai explained, “Losing this generation is a cost the world cannot [afford].”

It is important to remember, however, that Syria’s school-age children are not the only generation at risk of being lost. The Institute of International Education (IIE) estimates that as many as 450,000 of the more than four million Syrian refugees in the Middle East and North Africa are 18-22 years old, and that approximately 100,000 of them are qualified for university. They, too, are in desperate need of opportunities to further their studies.

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John Shattuck and Robert TemplerHigher Education for Syria
Reported displacement from Aleppo governorate, REACH

Aleppo Weekly, February 15-21

by The Aleppo Project on February 25, 2016

Since January 31st, intensified conflict displaced at least 70,000 people from rural villages in northern Aleppo province and eastern Aleppo city. According to REACH, 50 to 70% of the remaining population of Aleppo city could potentially leave if conditions continue to deteriorate.

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The Aleppo ProjectAleppo Weekly, February 15-21
Electricity 'Operations Room' in rebel-held Aleppo. Photo: Karam al-Masri, CNN

Aleppo Weekly February 8-14

by The Aleppo Project on February 15, 2016

The State of the Conflict



Heavy Russian and government airstrikes in the city and northern countryside, a Kurdish advance towards Tal Rifaat, countryside advances by government and allied forces and opposition shelling of western Aleppo killed, injured, and displaced numerous civilians. These attacks also damaged infrastructure, including the thermal station east of Aleppo that generates electricity for the city and an MSF-sponsored hospital in Azaz. Few Aleppians and Syria watchers believe a newly announced cessation of hostilities would take hold and stop the airstrikes, killing and destruction.

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The Aleppo ProjectAleppo Weekly February 8-14
Bab as-Salameh Border Crossing. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Aleppo Weekly February 1-7

by The Aleppo Project on February 9, 2016


After months of ‘dynamic stalemate,’ the military situation to the north of Aleppo city shifted dramatically over the past few weeks. Government and allied forces took control of strategic towns on the Aleppo-Gaziantep road, disconnecting eastern Aleppo city from the northern countryside and Turkey. The city is still connected with Turkey through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing in the western part of Idlib province.

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The Aleppo ProjectAleppo Weekly February 1-7
So you think you will return to Aleppo?

Data Snapshot

by The Aleppo Project on February 4, 2016

We know that many Syrians who have been forced from their homes are passionate about their country and are already playing a role in its future. When refugees and people who were forced to leave eventually return home, they often suffer a second displacement when they are pushed aside by reconstruction processes that ignore their needs and plans. By gathering information from as wide a range of people as possible, we hope to challenge many of the assumptions about how reconstruction should be managed.

In late 2014 and early 2015 we surveyed 1001 people. One of the questions we asked everyone was, “Do you think you will return to Aleppo?”

  • 72 per cent said “Yes.” 28 per cent said “No.”
  • This was generally true whether someone was male or female, had children, owned real estate, or his/her house had been damaged or destroyed.
  • It did not hold true for education levels. If someone had at least some post-secondary education, he or she appeared 14 per cent less likely to return to Aleppo than someone without any post-secondary education.

Reconstruction plans should carefully consider who will return to Aleppo when the fighting stops.  If, as is likely, the most vulnerable return first, and those with higher levels of education and more financial resources return much later, or not at all, the Aleppo of tomorrow will look very different than the Aleppo of yesterday.

To download the report, click here.

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The Aleppo ProjectData Snapshot
Photo: Ed Brambley

January 25-31

by The Aleppo Project on February 1, 2016

The Aleppo Weekly compiles what CCNR staff found to be the week’s most compelling stories, images, videos, and other resources that provide information about the life in the Syrian city, analyze the conflict that is destroying it, and help residents plan for their future. The weekly follows topics of interest to the Center’s researchers, and has a special focus on those displaced from the city and others whose voices are rarely heard when it comes to peacemaking or reconstruction.

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The Aleppo ProjectJanuary 25-31