With an eye to the future, as well as recent photos and 360 video of the city published on Thursday, February 4, the Associated Press (AP) reports on the conversation surrounding the reconstruction of Aleppo. In their piece Rebuilding shattered Aleppo will take billions – and peace, Bassem Mroue and Sarah El Deeb note, on the one hand, the great risk posed by moving forward with reconstruction without a peace deal in place and, on the other hand, the urgent need to form rebuilding plans for the future of Syria.
In considering the risk, AP quotes Aleppo Project Fellow AlHakam Shaar who stresses the need to bring home exiled Aleppians, saying, “Any rushed reconstruction is dangerous and is likely to cut out the owners or the ex-residents as well.” Moreover, without a peace deal, in addition to excluding former inhabitants from the reconstruction process, the report notes that Western nations would not directly support support the government.
Nonetheless, with an estimate of $350 billion to rebuild Syria, $52 billion of this allocated to Aleppo, and close to one million asylum seekers in the EU, many are eager to move forward in reconstruction efforts. Central to the conversation is whether it will be a coordinated regional effort or not. Notably, through efforts of the UN and the University of Venezia, a group of Syrian architects and artists among others gathered in Beirut are moving forward in brainstorming plans for a future Syria that promote energy efficiency and allow former residents to return in the process.
See images of eastern Aleppo from January 20 and 21 by Hassan Ammar and read the full article here.