Aleppo has been named as the 2006 City of Culture by the ‘Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’ – a world body.
The city rivals Damascus in its claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is at least 5000 years old. And it has been the centre of empires and civilisations throughout history.
The city has also been home to many great scientists and founders of Islamic culture.
The city will host exhibitions and events, as well as showcasing documentaries. A website will be launched soon – and you can find it here first.
Archaeologist J Sauvaget wrote:
“Of all the towns of Syria, it is Aleppo that leaves the profoundest impression upon the visitor.”
“Cradled in a bowl of dry hills in northern Syria, the city of Aleppo has a grave and dignified front of a traditional Arab city, although it’s rules are more relaxed than neighboring countries.”
“It’s been a luring point for passing traveler with it’s fine Arabic tradition, architecture and trade. Since Roman times, Aleppo has been an important trading center linking the countries of Asia and the Mediterranean and is though to be the oldest trading town in existence, with some 50 centuries of commerce in it’s rich history. Aleppo has one of the biggest and best souqs in the Middle East. National specialties include cotton, grain, pistachios, olives and sheep.”
Even with my outlook on the world being shaped by Damascus, even I can put traditional Damascus-Aleppo rivalries behind me to congratulate Aleppo! But don’t forget, Damascus is the 2008 City of Culture!