Scholar says around 800 buildings in Syria can be restored

KARACHI: The widespread destruction in the Syrian city of Aleppo is known to all. But Dr Ross Burns’ talk on ‘Aleppo: A city and its architecture’ organised by the Aga Khan University in collaboration with the Institute of Architects, Pakistan-Karachi Chapter, on Wednesday carried much hope when he asked people not to assume that Aleppo was finished because many of its historical monuments can still be reconstructed and restored. 

Focusing mainly on the Citadel, the mosques at the foot of the citadel and the Great Mosque of Aleppo, the author of many books on the history and archaeology of Syria, including Monuments of Syria said that when we think about Syria we think about the people of Syria. The country had a population of 22 million of which some 12 million have left their homes. “But,” he said, “even if they are not in Syria anymore they miss their homeland dearly and want to go back there someday.

“So, assuming that the country and its cities, especially its historic city of Aleppo, are completely destroyed would be like a bad gesture to the citizens of Aleppo who would like to have their historic city and its monuments back,” he said. 

“Among them are stone masons, engineers, architects, etc. They may come back to repair these places because it does not really need big bucks to do that,” he said, implying that their expertise and love for their country and its monuments can fix the damage. “It it is safe to debunk the theory that Aleppo is finished never to return,” he added.