Friday, December 4, 2020
Written by Chris Ray and first published in Atlas Obscura, Dec 10, 2019 BY CHRIS RAY DECEMBER 10, 2019 On a bright spring day in April 2013, the minaret of one of the world’s most famous mosques came crashing to earth in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The sound was heard across the Old Quarter, even over the din of artillery...
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Video, September 2019. Susan Dirgham. On the way to Beit Jabri.   In the introduction to her book 'Damascus: Hidden Treasures of the Old City' (Thames & Hudson, 2001), Brigid Keenan begins, My husband, a diplomat, was posted to Syria in 1993, and I went with him. Very soon, like Isabel, wife of the famous British Consul Richard Burton a hundred and...
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In this second part of the interview with Damascus University professor Maamoun Abdulkarim, Professor Maamoun speaks about Syria's 'mosaic', exemplified by his own family. The interview was conducted in a Damascus cafe on 22 September 2019. When he was director general of antiquities and museums during the worst years of the war in Syria, Professor Maamoun believes his innate understanding...
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This video interview with Professor Maamoun Abdulkarim took place in a Damascus cafe on 22 September 2019. It wasn't the best environment to discuss a serious subject, and I had no external microphone for my mobile phone, but we made do. Susan Dirgham (For a transcript of the interview, please go to the bottom of this page.*)    During the worst years of...
Editorial - Martin Luther King’s Anti-War Stand In 1967, the United States was embroiled in the war in Vietnam. On 4 April 1967, Martin Luther King delivered an anti-war address at Riverside Church, Upper Manhattan, New York. It was titled 'Beyond Vietnam'. Exactly one year later, he was assassinated. The address was controversial. There was great pressure on Martin Luther King...
“Each civilized person in the world should admit that he has two home countries: the one he was born in, and Syria.” André Parrot, (1901 – 1980), archaeologist specializing in the ancient Near East; director of The Louvre   Had Syria not assumed pariah status in the eyes of some, the Grand Colonnade of Apamea would be considered among the ‘100 noteworthy...
… any attempt to force cultures and peoples into separate and distinct breeds or essences exposes not only the misrepresentations and falsifications that ensue, but also the way in which understanding is complicit with the power to produce such things as the “Orient” or the “West”.’ - Edward W. Said (Orientalism, p. 348, 1995 Penguin edition) The following article appeared in...
On a crisp winter’s morning in December 2008, a group of university students from Melbourne began their tour of Syria with a visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Damascus, where over 250 Australian soldiers from both world wars have been buried. Kurt, an Australian Army officer, spoke to the students. A veteran of the war in Iraq, Kurt...