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The Cultural Toll of the Syrian War

By August 18, 2016Culture, News, Political

The human cost of the conflict in Syria cannot be denied, but after an airstrike in Aleppo last week hit a library and cultural centre this week residents have aired concern that culturally significant places are being deliberately targeted by airstrikes.

The destruction of the al-Waraqa this week has left a cultural hole in the historic city of Allepo and it’s just one of the destructive, culturally significant airstrikes to have hit the area. The centre was a library and cultural centre, and it also held weddings, making its destruction a blow to the memories and lives of those from the city.

The al-Waraqa was set up just nine months ago as a rare centre for education and culture, as historic Aleppo attempts to rebuild from the ashes of years of both civil war and airstrikes. The courtyard was used for weddings, the building housed a library of books, smuggled from Beirut to get them into Aleppo. This in itself shows how far people will go for education, and stories, and it seems a travesty to see it all destroyed.

The footage below shows the destruction at the al-Waraqa, leaving a whole town now without a library, or a place for the community to come together.

It’s been a ploy for terrorists to destroy culture for several years now, and many a brave librarian has risked life and limb to save old texts and manuscripts. The loss of culture across the region has been astonishing, and rush to save it, just as inspiring. So much so there’s even a book on the subject. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (USUK) is a fantastic read, and really brings home the struggles to save culturally significant pieces from these terrible war zones.

We can only hope for an end to the fighting soon so the people of Syria can get back to their lives, and their stories.

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