All posts tagged Aleppo

The Road To al-Jamiliyeh

by Armenak Tokmajyan on December 16, 2015


We often think of cities as their streets and buildings but they are also a collection of journeys. These can be the daily commute or a trip to a market, journeys so routine, so automatic that we barely register them. But when you leave a city and cannot return, those urban trails take on a deeper significance; the stops along the way take on an importance in your memory that they lacked before.

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Armenak TokmajyanThe Road To al-Jamiliyeh

The reconstruction of Beirut: Lessons for Aleppo

by The Aleppo Project on November 24, 2015

There are many lessons for Aleppo from what happened in Beirut:

• Rebuilding driven by the few for the few will fail.
• The core values must be accountability and transparency.
• Aleppo should not focus on investor-led fantasies of what the city might be but concentrate on rebuilding families, their businesses and the local economy.
• Economic resilience should be a key part of any reconstruction.
• Rebuilding the city centre is essential, but so is an integrated plan for the whole city.
• Reconstruction will not mend deep political divisions, but can be used to rebuild common public spaces that promote reconciliation.
• Democratic control may mean reconstruction takes longer, but it will be done better and is less likely to deepen social divisions.

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The Aleppo ProjectThe reconstruction of Beirut: Lessons for Aleppo
Haj Abdo alFawwal by Angélique Sanossian

Friday’s Fool

by Yahya Al-Abdullah on November 13, 2015

Before the conflict in Syria, on any busy street in Aleppo on a Friday morning you would see a long queue in front of one small shop. Everyone in the line, including children, would be carrying a big bowl and would be waiting to take home fool, the traditional breakfast of choice for the people of Aleppo.

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Yahya Al-AbdullahFriday’s Fool
"Aleppo Soap Storage" by Toni Yammine

Aleppo Soap

by The Aleppo Project on November 6, 2015

Europe owes much to cities like Aleppo. We owe the city for being a storehouse of classical knowledge when much of it disappeared from Europe. We owe it the Old Testament of the King James Bible, thought to be substantially drawn from the Aleppo Codex, a Jewish text that spent eight centuries in the city. On a more mundane level, we all owe something to Aleppo for a product we use every day: soap.

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The Aleppo ProjectAleppo Soap

Cultural Marriage: The Syrian Eagle and the Armenian Star

by The Aleppo Project on November 2, 2015

Pillowcase with the Syrian Eagle and the eight-edged star

Image 1: Pillowcase with the Syrian Eagle and the eight-edged star

Armenians, like other minorities in Syria, have contributed to and been influenced by Syrian culture, symbols and history. After the Armenian Genocide in 1915, several hundred thousand Armenians deported from Turkey adopted Syria as their new home. Shortly afterwards, in September 1918, the last Ottoman troops left Syria and Faisal Bin Hussain from the Hashemite dynasty became its king. The French mandate ended the independent kingdom of Syria on 24 July 1920. For 26 years, the Syrians struggled to gain their full independence and finally on 17 April 1946, the Syrian Republic emerged. During the early years of independence, a handmade pillowcase was found in Aleppo where the unknown Armenian artist interestingly combined two symbols, one Syrian and one Armenian. As shown in the image (1) below, the finely crafted  needlework shows an eagle – the Syrian independence emblem – circled by flowers. Below the eagle, in Arabic script, the artist wrote Al-Jumhuriye al-Suriye, the Syrian Republic. Given the time this piece was made, this is a clear indication of a celebration of independence.  

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The Aleppo ProjectCultural Marriage: The Syrian Eagle and the Armenian Star

Interview with Aleppian photographer Karam Al-Masri

by The Aleppo Project on October 19, 2015

Karam al-Masri’s story is both familiar in war torn Aleppo and extraordinary. A second-year law student in 2011, he has emerged as one of the most widely distributed and acclaimed news photographers covering the destruction of the city. His is a common story of the Syrian revolution where many young people had to leave their educations and professions to take part in some way in the uprising. But Karam’s efforts to document the death of Aleppo has brought him to international attention as a photographer for Agence France-Presse.

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The Aleppo ProjectInterview with Aleppian photographer Karam Al-Masri

The story of a traditional Aleppian house

by Dr. Ahmad Adib Shaar on October 16, 2015

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.

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Dr. Ahmad Adib ShaarThe story of a traditional Aleppian house

“This is how we are going to build Syria”

by Channel 4 on October 13, 2015

Mohamed Qutaish, a 13-year-old from Aleppo exhibits the model of the city he constructed. “This is how we are going to build Syria.” We love Mohamed’s vision for the city, particularly his focus on trees, lakes and public transport.

Source: Channel 4 News, United Kingdom.

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Channel 4“This is how we are going to build Syria”

Drought in Syria

by The Aleppo Project on October 10, 2015

When the drought in Syria started in 2008, the United Nations issued an appeal for funding for food aid for the many farmers whose crops had failed and animals had either been sold or died. In August the next year, with the drought getting worse and lasting longer than any other on record, another international appeal for help was announced. By the end of 2009, it had raised just 14 percent of what was needed.

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The Aleppo ProjectDrought in Syria

Aleppo: Rural-Urban Grievance

by The Aleppo Project on September 27, 2015

“We liberated the rural parts of Aleppo province. We waited and waited for Aleppo City to rise, and it didn’t. We couldn’t rely on them to do it for themselves so we had to bring the revolution to them.” Those were the words in July 2012 of Abu Hashish, a commander from a village in the country near Aleppo. The conflict had indeed spread from the Idleb countryside to northern Aleppo in the early part of the year but only reached the city in July.

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The Aleppo ProjectAleppo: Rural-Urban Grievance