The Case of Syria and Iraq
Edited By Lorenzo Kamel
Chapter 2: The Reconstruction and Recovery of Syrian Cultural Heritage: The Case of the Old City of Aleppo (Francesco Bandarin)
Chapter 2: The Reconstruction and Recovery of Syrian Cultural Heritage: The Case of the Old City of Aleppo
Eight years of conflict have severely disrupted the fabric of Syrian society and its economy and have created a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. According to the United Nations (UN), an estimated 11.7 million people needed humanitarian assistance at the end of 2018, with about 6.2 million still internally displaced, and over 5 million refugees residing in other countries.1
All the major cities of the country have suffered devastating damage: from Damascus (albeit not in its historic centre), to Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Raqqa and Deir er-Zor, the urban landscape is dominated by the ruins of housing structures, public and private buildings, monuments, mosques, churches and infrastructure. Many other medium-size and small settlements have been heavily damaged and have lost all or part of their population (REACH and UNITAR 2019).
All the rich heritage sites of Syria, and in particular its World Heritage sites, have suffered massive damage, including Palmyra, where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) demolished the major ancient temples of Bel and Baalshamin with explosives; the Crac des Chevaliers, one of the most important citadels of the Crusades era; the Dead Cities of northern Syria, an important site for religious life during the Byzantine period; Bosra, the ancient capital of the Roman province of Arabia; the monument areas of Aleppo; and, to a lesser extent, the historic centre...
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