Wednesday, December 14, 2016


For months I’ve been following news about the carnage in Aleppo.  I’ve been reminded time and time again of my visit in 2009.  I’ve tried to figure out which factions were in control where, and what was happening with the people who live there.

We stayed in the Old Quarter of the city.  We explored the narrow streets and byways near our hotel and beyond.  Our impression was positive.  The people were friendly.  The food was good.  Historical evidence of a city with a long, proud tradition was everywhere.

I saw a picture today that shocked me in a particularly powerful way.  The caption said: “Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria walked near the remains of the ancient Umayyad mosque in Aleppo on Tuesday after retaking the city.”  The damage to the structure was in stark contrast to the beautiful multi-colored marble and tile floor, much of which was intact.

I walked on those tiles.  I sat for a while on the periphery under one of the arches to just ‘be’ in such a beautiful place.  I had just come from the old market, which I hear in now in ruins, and stopped at the mosque, Aleppo’s finest.

In time, the structure will probably be repaired, and beauty restored.  But what a tragedy, not so much for those of us who are outsiders, but for the people of Aleppo who have suffered so much, that they have had to endure this horror for so long.

May peace come soon.


Post a Comment

<< Home