AlHakam Shaar © Pakhuis de Zwijger

Re-think Aleppo | The city always wins

by The Aleppo Project on June 9, 2017

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.

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The Aleppo ProjectRe-think Aleppo | The city always wins
Joseph Eid/Getty Images

Reconstructing the Shadow System

by The Aleppo Project on June 6, 2017

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, he stresses the need to have an interactive and inclusive approach that guarantees social justice and equality for all.

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The Aleppo ProjectReconstructing the Shadow System
Credit: Louay Dakhel

Madrasa Al-Fardoos

by The Aleppo Project on April 1, 2017

Louay Dakhel, an Aleppian architect, revisits several sites in Aleppo providing photos, analysis, and commentary on what he finds. The following is a translation of his text as well as photos posted on Facebook from his visit to Madrasa Al-Fardoos on February 9, 2017.

The seventh round… Madrasa Al-Fardoos

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.

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The Aleppo ProjectMadrasa Al-Fardoos
Photo by Gabriella Csoszó

The Aleppo Scrolls – A Testimony of a Bloodied City

by AlHakam Shaar and Michele MacMillan on March 6, 2017

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[1]. 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.

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AlHakam Shaar and Michele MacMillanThe Aleppo Scrolls – A Testimony of a Bloodied City
Monther, first left, and Abdalrahman, first right, look up as colleague steers drone in Old Aleppo. [Moutaz Khattab]

Drones Over Aleppo

by The Aleppo Project on February 23, 2017

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.

You can read the article here.

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The Aleppo ProjectDrones Over Aleppo

The Last Days in Aleppo

by The Aleppo Project on February 16, 2017

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.

For the full article click here.

The Aleppo Project had interviewed Karam Al-Massari back in 2015 about his experience of being a news photographer during the conflict.

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The Aleppo ProjectThe Last Days in Aleppo
Credit: Thaer Mohammed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Report Rebuts Russia’s Claims of Restraint in Syrian Bombing Campaign

by The Aleppo Project on February 13, 2017

The Atlantic Council’s report released today, Breaking Aleppo, features evidence of the siege of Aleppo using critical methods of investigation including satellite images, social media, and footage from security camera videos as well as the Kremlin-supported television network. In the NY Times article Report Rebuts Russia’s Claims of Restraint in Syrian Bombing Campaign, Michael Gordon brings attention to the release of the report, noting the analysis of Russian operations in Aleppo provide evidence against Kremlin claims of restraint.

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The Aleppo ProjectReport Rebuts Russia’s Claims of Restraint in Syrian Bombing Campaign
Credit: HuffPost

These are the Moments of Aleppo’s Demise that I will Never Forget

by The Aleppo Project on February 9, 2017

Lina Shamy shares slips of her diaries about her time in Aleppo. She maps out the most important changes in the history of the city in the last six years: the revolution, the oppression, the division of the city, the besiegement and the latest evacuation. The memories she experienced and will never forget are quite similar to the memories many Aleppians had to carry out with them leaving their city.

Read her story here.

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The Aleppo ProjectThese are the Moments of Aleppo’s Demise that I will Never Forget
The Main Entrance of the University of Aleppo - Almjhar News

Absence of Syrian University Credentials

by Yahya Al-Abdullah, The Aleppo Project on January 24, 2017

Losing academic records or not being able to retrieve them from public universities in Syria is one of the common problems Syrian students are facing in the host countries. Many refugee students are trying to pursue their studies or equalize their degrees after overcoming the language barrier. However, bureaucracy and administrative regulations are preventing them from doing so. 

(R.B) is a Syrian refugee with a B.A degree in Business Administration. He arrived to Germany in the middle of 2015. He has finished B2 level German which allows him to join a vocational training course in the country but he is preparing for the next language level (C1) to be able to study at university. Unfortunately, (R.B)’s dream to pursue an M.A degree in Germany is on hold because he does not have neither his B.A certificate nor his academic records. We met in a workshop in Berlin and (R.B) wanted to share his story with the Aleppo Project.

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Yahya Al-Abdullah, The Aleppo ProjectAbsence of Syrian University Credentials

I Went to Aleppo to Study. I Left in a Convoy of Refugees.

by The Aleppo Project on January 23, 2017

To over 50K followers on Twitter and in interviews with several global news agencies, among them BBC, Al-Jazeera, TRT, and the Independent, Lina Shamy’s in-the-moment reporting from eastern Aleppo spread the message of the siege to the world. Now reporting as an evacuee in the western countryside, she tells her story of going to Aleppo for university where she became active and critical of the regime. Shamy’s piece in the New York Times, I Went to Aleppo to Study. I Left in a Convoy of Refugees, pays homage to the memories of the former inhabitants’ last days in eastern Aleppo and details her journey back to Idlib where she grew up.

Click here for her article.

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The Aleppo ProjectI Went to Aleppo to Study. I Left in a Convoy of Refugees.