The replicas are made with clay, rocks, kebab skewers, and other basic materials found in the Za'atari camp in Jordan.
Mahmoud Hariri, who was an art teacher and painter in Syria before fleeing to Za’atari in 2013, has made a replica of the fallen Palmyra using just clay and wooden kebab skewers. To him, Palmyra represents “all of humanity,” he toldUN Refugee Acency (UNHCR) in an interview.
“This is a way for them not to forget,” he said. “As artists, we have an important role to play. A lot of what we know about ancient civilizations or prehistoric people is preserved through their art—Egyptian hieroglyphs or cave paintings.”
Unlike recent efforts seeking to preserve the legacy or Palmyra with the help of 3-D technology, these artists only have access to what they can find at Za’atari—rocks, small carving knives, discarded wood. The result aren’t any less stunning.