Aleppo, 2009, charcoal and watercolour on chalk and ink
Syria’s second city, Aleppo (Halab) vies with Damascus as the oldest continually-inhabited city in the world – as long as 8000 years. It’s old city has long-since burst out of its once-walled confines and now merges into the surrounding newer development, creating a richly undefined palimpsest of ancient and modern. Like a series of concentric circles, historical time radiates out from the city’s massive hilltop citadel: from the grid-plan of the medieval covered souks to the impenetrable geography of the Bayada quarter in the northeast. Tracing the convoluted city plan, one relives the twists and turns of the old city, where all the senses were engaged and the mind frustrated, but now with a sense of quiet calm and detachment that comes with the view from above.
view of part of the old city, Aleppo, Sept. 2008