Friday, March 23, 2007

Save Old Damascus

I am aware that a petition has a limited range of action, but isn't that better than no action at all?

Big plans for Damascus are underway. By "big", I mean: expropriations, demolition of houses and markets without regard for historical value or beauty, loss of jobs, and another big scar added to the face of Damascus.

Here are a couple of links on the subject, providing you can read Arabic:

Don't let that happen! The city needs care, not a commercial project built over a dead body.
Please sign this petition. It may not be comprehensive enough or accurate enough, but it is a first step in the righ direction, in my opinion:


Alex said...

Thanks GF!

I am a bit confused at this point. I heard arguments from both sides by people I respect.

As long as there is an open and serious discussion before such a project is carried out.

gottfried stutz said...

Thanks Alex.

Yes, I did hear arguments from both sides, but I also met a few architects who are real experts and who are scandalised by the whole thing. How come that Al-Manakhliyeh is said to be from the Mameluk era, and yet the "mu7aafaDhah" says that it is not worth keeping? How come the Directorage General of Antiquities and Museums doesn't protest?

The problem, my friend, is that the discussion is not open and serious in my opinion. On one hand, the authorities hid things from the UNESCO, and their decision seems to be made before any debate. On the other hand, the folks defending the city made one mistake at least. They jumped to the conclusion that the UNESCO can delete Damascus from the list of World Heritage Sites. Rumour spread about that. The government denied that the UNESCO issued such a threat, and guess what... The government was right for once. In fact, there is no such mechanism as taking a site off that list.

More info soon.

Alex said...

Will wait for your more info then.

Rime Allaf wrote this opinion today.