How Syria’s blasted landmarks are starting to rise from the ruins

The centre of Aleppo was a marvel. It was a demonstration of the multiplicity of both humanity and stone. It was an embodiment of the material and cultural wealth that once made Syria one of the luckiest and most civilised places on Earth – a California of the Middle East, blessed by climate, fertile land, physical beauty and its position between the Mediterranean and the Silk Road to the east. “My beautiful province,” as the seventh-century Byzantine emperor Heraclius called Syria, while retreating from Muslim conquerors, “what a paradise you will be for the enemy!”

In Aleppo there was, and mostly still is, the citadel, a mound growing upwards into improbably massive walls, a dream of castle-ness realised with crushing weight. Then there were the souks, a huge web of covered alleys and streets, spaces made of produce and transactions as much as of masonry, in which gems of architecture – a polychrome portal or a serene dome – would make themselves known amid the action and clutter, their arabesque decorations indecorously garlanded with electrical conduits and air-conditioning units.

Then there was the Umayyad mosque, built on the site of a Hellenistic agora, called after the dynasty that founded it in the eighth century but its surviving fabric coming from

— source | Rowan Moore | 4 Jun 2021

Nullius in verba


Newsweek reporter quits after editors block coverage of OPCW Syria scandal

Journalist Tareq Haddad explains his decision to resign from Newsweek over its refusal to cover the OPCW’s unfolding Syria scandal.

Read Tareq Haddad’s article: “Lies, Newsweek And Control Of The Media Narrative: First-Hand Account.”

— source | 2019/12/19

Nullius in verba