New Historian

Experts Struggle to Save Syrian Artefacts

Syrian Artifact

<![CDATA[The civil war in Syria has made it impossible for archaeologists and scientists to work in the country. Scientists around the world are deeply concerned about what is happening to the cultural heritage of the country because of its political problems and riots. The various conflicts that have swept the Middle Eastern region in the last few decades have taken a major toll on the culture and history of the countries there. Many places such as Syria have suffered irrecoverable losses in terms of their culture, historical artefacts and heritage. While scholars can do very little to improve the political condition of the region, they have been trying their best to try and save its historical and cultural heritage. Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as various blogging sites are being used to create awareness about the valuable historical artefacts of the region. People around the world are getting together to help compile lists of all the artefacts and items of historic importance that have gone missing, been damaged or stolen. Cheikhmous Ali, an archaeologist working for the University of Strasbourg, has founded an association to help protect Syrian artefacts and history. This organization depends on a network of underground activists and journalists to achieve its goals. Since the authorities are usually suspicious of people taking photographs, the activists have to make use of hidden cameras to record missing artefacts and keep track of the historical and cultural heritage of the country. All information is sent back to the association and is verified by certified scholars outside the Middle East. According to Mr. Ali, the goal of the organization is to create awareness about the entire situation, outside the region. The Middle East lost many of its ancient wonders during the colonial era, when priceless artefacts were carried off into European museums and private collections. The region can ill afford suffering another looting of its heritage, and therefore experts are doing their very best to prevent a new wave of loss. The situation is so severe that one is reminded of the fate of the National Museum of Baghdad, which was looted and ransacked during the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. According to Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, a Syrian architect who worked on the redevelopment of the ancient City of Aleppo, the situation in Syria could be just as damaging as what happened in Iraq. He states that Aleppo was devastated when it ended up lying on the dividing line between the regimes forces and the rebels. He also mentioned that the Islamist militants dont care about the antiquities of the country and simply look at them as a source of easy money. By raising their voices through social media as well as physical measures, experts and scholars around the world are trying to get the international community involved in helping save as many relics as possible in the Middle East. ]]>

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