With the participation of The Aleppo Project, Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam held a series of events that brought together Syrian and European researchers and city lovers in discussion about the future of the devastated city of Aleppo. Aleppo Project fellow AlHakam Shaar took part in the keynote panel and co-organized a workshop on identity, ownership and agency in defining and re-visiting cultural heritage.
With a reference to the Aleppo Project’s survey on the possibilities of reconstructing the city and restoring private ownership, Edwar Hanna poses different questions on the mechanisms of reconstructing Aleppo. In an article published in AlNabad.net, he stresses the need to have an interactive and inclusive approach that guarantees social justice and equality for all.
Almost the entire school remains in tact from the days of the war, with the minor exception of the secondary dome near the entrance and the back wall of the iwan, both of which can easily be repaired.
It was built in the time of Queen Deifa Khatoun, wife of the King of Aleppo Zahir Ghazi son of the King Salah Al-Din Al-Ayoubi in the year 633 Hijri. This was an era when Aleppo was the capital of the Ayyubid Kingdom, among one of the most beautiful and famous kingdoms in the world.
As Syria bleeds and its wounds multiply, governments across the world turn their eyes away. In Hungary, the Fidesz government invested 50 million euros of public funds in a campaign for a referendum to challenge the resettlement of 1,500 refugees agreed on the EU level. The government couldn’t convince enough of the electorate to vote on the referendum. The campaign failed.
Two days before the referendum, a wide alliance of civil society groups and individuals organized a rally against the campaign in front of the parliament. Among them were Peter Horgas and more than 30 other Hungarian artists. They presented their artwork Aleppo Testimony in recognition of the suffering of Syrian war victims and in support of the refugees looking for a safer life.
Photos taken last Friday, February 17, 2017 by Saleh Zakkour show hollowed halls of Khan Al-Nahasin, previously inhabited by coppersmiths at work. The street sign displays the name Adolphe Poche, homage to the Belgian consul of Austrian origin as well as the House of Poche located in the khan. Born in this historic house linking centuries of European travelers and diplomats to the Middle East, the late Madame Jenny Poche, daughter of businessman George Marash and the daughter of Adolphe Poche, most recently inhabited the house.  According to an interview with Madame Poche from the summer of 2011, her great-grandfather, a crystal merchant, first arrived in Aleppo from Bohemia in the early 19th century. The house itself dates back to the 16th century, even before the arrival of the Poche family, when it first housed the Consul of Venice.
Shattuck Center Fellow AlHakam Shaar and former SPP Assistant Professor Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick have written an article for Al Jazeera on how drone technology is being used in Syria.
The article looks at competing media uses of drones, while examining a particular grassroots initiative called Life in Aleppo.
“Drones are not only powerful tools that enable citizens to challenge official news reports, they also provide a completely different perspective on what is happening in Syria,” said Shaar. Choi-Fitzpatrick, who is writing a book about drones and other protest technologies, notes that what is happening in Syria is not new. “Activists around the world have used drones to gather information and monitor situations on the ground,” he said.
Recent photos of ruins found along Al-Mutanabbi Street (Talaat Al-Bnouk) unearth claims of an ancient underground city. The ruins are located to the west of Sabaa Baharat Square and north of Old Aleppo’s Decumanus connecting the Citadel to the Souq Al-Madina, as we marked on Wikimapia. There is discussion as to whether these ruins date back to Hellenistic or Roman times, or whether they are simply the remains of what once were the lower levels of former buildings submerged under a paved road in the 1930s.
Featured on Humans of Aleppo #HoAHistory, group member Muhammad Sle posts recent photos of Al-Adiliyyah Mosque along with historical facts. Built between 963 AH/1555 AD and 965 AH/1557 AD, according to disputing sources, Muhammed describes the mosque’s cylindrical minaret with the length of the side measured at 15.6 meters, built in the square-shaped Ottoman style. He notes the courtyard’s rectangular shape with two entrances, one facing east and one west, and a central basin of water for ablution.
Karam Al-Masri captured the atrocities taking place in besieged Aleppo until the very last moment when he arrived with evacuation buses in rebel held territory. Documenting the situation with his camera was one of the only things that would give him a reason to live. Now in exile in Istanbul he remembers with Rana Moussaoui the last moments spent in Aleppo.