Hakam holding younger brother Shahim - around 2000
Jasmine tree from the terrace - Nour Chaar 2010
Liwan upstairs at sunset - AlHakam Shaar 2010
Parents' bedroom facade with window glass broken from barrel bombing next door - AlHakam Shaar Oct 2014
Upstairs bedroom interior - AlHakam Shaar 2010
Upstairs bedroom recedes to allow more light and air downstairs - AlHakam Shaar 2010
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.
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.