Aleppo

What is Aleppo known for?


beautiful sound

. Its old city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Understand 400px thumb The Aleppo Citadel (Image:AlepQalat.jpg) As it is in any Muslim country, the call to prayer is called out from mosques five times a day starting in the early morning. It can be a beautiful sound. Aleppo is a fairly conservative city. Dress appropriately to avoid any problems and to avoid standing out too much. Men should wear shirts and trousers and women should not wear anything that is too revealing. If you follow that simple dress code you should not have any problems. Head scarves are not necessary unless you want to enter a mosque but even then grey robes are available at no extra charge. There are no hostile feelings towards Americans or Westerners in general (although Americans tend to be subjected to more scrutiny by the authorities than other nationalities). You could, however, find yourself in trouble if you engage in open criticism of and against the Syrian government or the president. Your best bet is to avoid political conversations all together just to avoid any possible problems. If you do engage in political discussions with Syrians, be aware that they might face intense questioning by the secret police if you are overheard. As a general rule, always assume that you are being watched by the plain-clothes policemen (''mukhabarat''). You will notice that not many uniformed policemen can be seen in the streets, but this is because the police have a wide network of plain-clothes officers and informants. Friday is a holy day and most shops and historic sites are closed so plan accordingly for this. Stealing is looked down upon and thus is not very common. Crime is generally low and you should feel safe to walk around in any part of the city at any time day or night. But as in any city, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings, particularly in the souk. Meals are a bit later than in the U.S. but similar to the times in some European countries. Lunch is from 1 to 3 and dinner around 8pm. Syrians take a siesta in the middle of the day, from about 3 to 6, but this means that the night life is very active. You can return to the markets and public squares that you visited during the day and by 10pm they will be bustling with people selling food and treats and drinks. It is a like a street fair every night. Aleppo is a beautiful and historic city that anyone who is considering a trip to the Middle East should go see. Get in Aleppo is close to the main border crossing with Turkey. You will need a visa to enter into Syria. It is typically more convenient to secure a visa in your home country as the consulates in Turkey do not usually issue tourist visas. How you get the visa varies by country so check with a travel agent or consult. Citizens of the predominantly Arab nations, as well as Turkish citizens as of 2009, do not require a visa. At the border, most nationalities can secure a 2 week transit visa in 20–30 minutes. American passport holders, however, will have to wait between 3 to 10 hours to secure a transit visa, as the border guards must fax Damascus to check with Syrian intelligence, and may be turned away. A transit visa is US$16, payable in USD or SYP. Each border post has a branch of the Central Bank of Syria to exchange currencies. There are no facilities for credit debit cards. Travellers cheques are also not accepted. Remember that there is a departure fee of 500 SYP. Aleppo has quite extensive public transport connections with Turkish (Turkey) cities just north of the border. There are at least two daily '''bus minibus''' services from Antioch (Antakya) (3hr), costing S£250 (bus service) or S£350 (minibus). Gaziantep, on the other hand, has twice weekly '''trains''' to Aleppo (5hr, departing from Gaziantep at 8:30PM on Tuesdays and Fridays and arrive five hours later in Aleppo, at an inconvenient 1:29AM after midnight), costing €12.75 pp one-way. There is also a once-weekly train service from Mersin on Turkish Mediterranean coast (Mediterranean Turkey), also calling at Adana. Trains depart from Mersin at 11PM on Fridays and call at Adana station around midnight. They arrive in Aleppo at 8:10AM next morning and cost € 14 € 13 pp from Mersin Adana respectively. From Lebanon several daily buses leave from Beirut's Charles Helou bus station going via Tripoli and Homs. Currently the prices have inflated quite a bit due to the Syrian conflict (April 2014) Get around Taxis are everywhere, probably more taxis than people. They are easy to take and very affordable but just make sure it is a licensed taxi. Minibuses: Called "serveece", these are small white vans that drive around and you can hop on and off by signalling to the driver. 10 lira per journey. They get very full in rush hours. Rental Cars: Hertz and other rental car agencies are available in Aleppo but the driving can be very hectic and if you are not accustomed to driving in a place with few rules and almost no regard for street signs you should probably not attempt to drive on your own. See * '''The citadel''' sits on a hill in the centre of the city and is visible from almost anywhere. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, but the current structure dates from the 13th century. There are tours daily. It costs 150 SP to enter or 10 SP with a student card, as of November 2007. Once inside, there are no signs or explanations of the site so a guidebook is handy. There is a café inside the Citadel. thumb A quiet moment in the Aleppo Souq on Friday (Image:AlepSouq.jpg) * '''The Souq''': There are multiple souqs in the city including a covered section. All of the shopping you could want to do from gold and silver, boxes, clothing, fabric and soaps can be found in the various souqs. Bargaining is encouraged and if you know Arabic it will get you a much better price. * '''Bimaristan Arghan''' is a beautiful mental hospital turned into a museum. Entrance is free and you can wander around and look at exhibits, which include old medical equipment, herbs, biographies of famous Arab scientists and other interesting artifacts. The main attractions, however, are the courtyard and two separate spaces reserved for the mentally ill. * '''Saint Simeon's basilica''' (Qalaat Sam'aan): Located 30 miles outside of Aleppo this is an old church that was dedicated to the famous hermit, St Simeon the Stylite. This church was built around the pillar on which Simeon lived and prayed and became a major centre of pilgrimage. There are guided tours. The grounds are beautiful and it is nice to get away from the city for a day. The best way to get there is to hire a taxi in Aleppo to go the whole way, or more economically to take a microbus to the nearest town (Dar Ta'ze) and bargain with the driver to take you the extra 2 km to the church. * '''The Great Mosque''': There are many mosques in the city but this is the largest and most ornate. Do Walk around the city at least a few times to really get a feel for what it is like. It is a vibrant and lively place that will continually surprise you. Any amount of time spent walking around the city will reveal another historical site or point of interest. Check out the Christian section of the city to see a different part of Aleppo. If you want to shop for clothes, al-Telal street is bustling nearly every night with crowds checking out the shops and street stands piled high with every type of clothing imaginable. Buy Gold: Although the prices are as high as they have ever been, gold is still a worthwhile purchase here. There is a special gold pattern called the Aleppo weave or chain that is made only in Aleppo. All gold is sold by weight and is 22 carat. Boxes: Aleppo is also famous for its intricate inlay work that can be found in boxes of all shapes and sizes. These boxes are beautiful and can be found at almost all of the shops in the souq. A great, affordable gift to take home. Wraps Tablecloths: There are many nice wraps that can be worn as shawls or used as tablecloths that are also available everywhere in the souqs. Another good gift. thumb Sweets with pistachios (Image:AlepFustuq.jpg) Sweets: Pistachios are everywhere in Aleppo and accordingly there are many different kinds of sweets made from the pistachio. These usually come in a decorative box and are yet another good gift. Coffee and spices: It is impossible to walk through the souq without being caught up in the scent of freshly ground coffee and spices like cumin. You can also buy very ornate pots to make your coffee in. Soap: One of the most famous Aleppine products is its olive oil soap. Many factories produce this using traditional techniques. The price varies from about 70SP per kilo to as much as 400 SP or more depending on the proportion of olive and laurel oil, prices and assortment is better in the shops just in the 2 roads south of the Clock Tower rather than in the Souq's tourist traps, even if most shop keepers speak very little English (prices per kilo are clearly shown). Eat Common Syrian street food like falafels and shwarma are excellent and available throughout the city. In the souks you will also find tiny restaurants with a few stools serving up dishes like Fuul (pronounced “fool”), a bean soup served with fresh bread, onions and mint. If you are adventurous, look for the men frying curry-flavoured pancakes near the entrance to the souk. The pancakes are wrapped in bread and topped with hot sauce. Also try and buy some of the freshly made pita bread that is sold everywhere as it is delicious. For breakfast, a fresh glass of juice (40 SP for a large glass of mixed juice, 50 SP for takeaway) and cheese sandwich (15 SP) can be had from the juice stands near the clock tower. Many cafés also serve great ice cream for a treat. If you are tired after a day of wandering around the souk, try one of the cafés near the base of the citadel. They offer light snacks and drinks, including a wide range of coffees and refreshing glasses of minted lemonade. Travellers on a strict budget should be prepared to eat very similar meals everyday as there is not a lot of variety in the diet at the cheaper end of the range. There are plenty of good restaurants around and meals are very affordable. In the Christian Quarter (El Jedeide) district * WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


massive stone

WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


open criticism

. If you follow that simple dress code you should not have any problems. Head scarves are not necessary unless you want to enter a mosque but even then grey robes are available at no extra charge. There are no hostile feelings towards Americans or Westerners in general (although Americans tend to be subjected to more scrutiny by the authorities than other nationalities). You could, however, find yourself in trouble if you engage in open criticism of and against the Syrian government or the president. Your best bet is to avoid political conversations all together just to avoid any possible problems. If you do engage in political discussions with Syrians, be aware that they might face intense questioning by the secret police if you are overheard. As a general rule, always assume that you are being watched by the plain-clothes policemen (''mukhabarat''). You will notice that not many uniformed policemen can be seen in the streets, but this is because the police have a wide network of plain-clothes officers and informants. Friday is a holy day and most shops and historic sites are closed so plan accordingly for this. Stealing is looked down upon and thus is not very common. Crime is generally low and you should feel safe to walk around in any part of the city at any time day or night. But as in any city, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings, particularly in the souk. Meals are a bit later than in the U.S. but similar to the times in some European countries. Lunch is from 1 to 3 and dinner around 8pm. Syrians take a siesta in the middle of the day, from about 3 to 6, but this means that the night life is very active. You can return to the markets and public squares that you visited during the day and by 10pm they will be bustling with people selling food and treats and drinks. It is a like a street fair every night. Aleppo is a beautiful and historic city that anyone who is considering a trip to the Middle East should go see. Get in Aleppo is close to the main border crossing with Turkey. You will need a visa to enter into Syria. It is typically more convenient to secure a visa in your home country as the consulates in Turkey do not usually issue tourist visas. How you get the visa varies by country so check with a travel agent or consult. Citizens of the predominantly Arab nations, as well as Turkish citizens as of 2009, do not require a visa. At the border, most nationalities can secure a 2 week transit visa in 20–30 minutes. American passport holders, however, will have to wait between 3 to 10 hours to secure a transit visa, as the border guards must fax Damascus to check with Syrian intelligence, and may be turned away. A transit visa is US$16, payable in USD or SYP. Each border post has a branch of the Central Bank of Syria to exchange currencies. There are no facilities for credit debit cards. Travellers cheques are also not accepted. Remember that there is a departure fee of 500 SYP. Aleppo has quite extensive public transport connections with Turkish (Turkey) cities just north of the border. There are at least two daily '''bus minibus''' services from Antioch (Antakya) (3hr), costing S£250 (bus service) or S£350 (minibus). Gaziantep, on the other hand, has twice weekly '''trains''' to Aleppo (5hr, departing from Gaziantep at 8:30PM on Tuesdays and Fridays and arrive five hours later in Aleppo, at an inconvenient 1:29AM after midnight), costing €12.75 pp one-way. There is also a once-weekly train service from Mersin on Turkish Mediterranean coast (Mediterranean Turkey), also calling at Adana. Trains depart from Mersin at 11PM on Fridays and call at Adana station around midnight. They arrive in Aleppo at 8:10AM next morning and cost € 14 € 13 pp from Mersin Adana respectively. From Lebanon several daily buses leave from Beirut's Charles Helou bus station going via Tripoli and Homs. Currently the prices have inflated quite a bit due to the Syrian conflict (April 2014) Get around Taxis are everywhere, probably more taxis than people. They are easy to take and very affordable but just make sure it is a licensed taxi. Minibuses: Called "serveece", these are small white vans that drive around and you can hop on and off by signalling to the driver. 10 lira per journey. They get very full in rush hours. Rental Cars: Hertz and other rental car agencies are available in Aleppo but the driving can be very hectic and if you are not accustomed to driving in a place with few rules and almost no regard for street signs you should probably not attempt to drive on your own. See * '''The citadel''' sits on a hill in the centre of the city and is visible from almost anywhere. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, but the current structure dates from the 13th century. There are tours daily. It costs 150 SP to enter or 10 SP with a student card, as of November 2007. Once inside, there are no signs or explanations of the site so a guidebook is handy. There is a café inside the Citadel. thumb A quiet moment in the Aleppo Souq on Friday (Image:AlepSouq.jpg) * '''The Souq''': There are multiple souqs in the city including a covered section. All of the shopping you could want to do from gold and silver, boxes, clothing, fabric and soaps can be found in the various souqs. Bargaining is encouraged and if you know Arabic it will get you a much better price. * '''Bimaristan Arghan''' is a beautiful mental hospital turned into a museum. Entrance is free and you can wander around and look at exhibits, which include old medical equipment, herbs, biographies of famous Arab scientists and other interesting artifacts. The main attractions, however, are the courtyard and two separate spaces reserved for the mentally ill. * '''Saint Simeon's basilica''' (Qalaat Sam'aan): Located 30 miles outside of Aleppo this is an old church that was dedicated to the famous hermit, St Simeon the Stylite. This church was built around the pillar on which Simeon lived and prayed and became a major centre of pilgrimage. There are guided tours. The grounds are beautiful and it is nice to get away from the city for a day. The best way to get there is to hire a taxi in Aleppo to go the whole way, or more economically to take a microbus to the nearest town (Dar Ta'ze) and bargain with the driver to take you the extra 2 km to the church. * '''The Great Mosque''': There are many mosques in the city but this is the largest and most ornate. Do Walk around the city at least a few times to really get a feel for what it is like. It is a vibrant and lively place that will continually surprise you. Any amount of time spent walking around the city will reveal another historical site or point of interest. Check out the Christian section of the city to see a different part of Aleppo. If you want to shop for clothes, al-Telal street is bustling nearly every night with crowds checking out the shops and street stands piled high with every type of clothing imaginable. Buy Gold: Although the prices are as high as they have ever been, gold is still a worthwhile purchase here. There is a special gold pattern called the Aleppo weave or chain that is made only in Aleppo. All gold is sold by weight and is 22 carat. Boxes: Aleppo is also famous for its intricate inlay work that can be found in boxes of all shapes and sizes. These boxes are beautiful and can be found at almost all of the shops in the souq. A great, affordable gift to take home. Wraps Tablecloths: There are many nice wraps that can be worn as shawls or used as tablecloths that are also available everywhere in the souqs. Another good gift. thumb Sweets with pistachios (Image:AlepFustuq.jpg) Sweets: Pistachios are everywhere in Aleppo and accordingly there are many different kinds of sweets made from the pistachio. These usually come in a decorative box and are yet another good gift. Coffee and spices: It is impossible to walk through the souq without being caught up in the scent of freshly ground coffee and spices like cumin. You can also buy very ornate pots to make your coffee in. Soap: One of the most famous Aleppine products is its olive oil soap. Many factories produce this using traditional techniques. The price varies from about 70SP per kilo to as much as 400 SP or more depending on the proportion of olive and laurel oil, prices and assortment is better in the shops just in the 2 roads south of the Clock Tower rather than in the Souq's tourist traps, even if most shop keepers speak very little English (prices per kilo are clearly shown). Eat Common Syrian street food like falafels and shwarma are excellent and available throughout the city. In the souks you will also find tiny restaurants with a few stools serving up dishes like Fuul (pronounced “fool”), a bean soup served with fresh bread, onions and mint. If you are adventurous, look for the men frying curry-flavoured pancakes near the entrance to the souk. The pancakes are wrapped in bread and topped with hot sauce. Also try and buy some of the freshly made pita bread that is sold everywhere as it is delicious. For breakfast, a fresh glass of juice (40 SP for a large glass of mixed juice, 50 SP for takeaway) and cheese sandwich (15 SP) can be had from the juice stands near the clock tower. Many cafés also serve great ice cream for a treat. If you are tired after a day of wandering around the souk, try one of the cafés near the base of the citadel. They offer light snacks and drinks, including a wide range of coffees and refreshing glasses of minted lemonade. Travellers on a strict budget should be prepared to eat very similar meals everyday as there is not a lot of variety in the diet at the cheaper end of the range. There are plenty of good restaurants around and meals are very affordable. In the Christian Quarter (El Jedeide) district * WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


study film

, Is Dead date 2005-11-12 url http: www.nytimes.com 2005 11 12 obituaries 12akkad.html work New York Times accessdate 2010-07-05 His father, then a customs officer, gave him $200 and a copy of the Quran before he left for the United States to study film direction and production at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Akkad spent a further three years studying for a Master's degree at the University of Southern California (USC), where he met the director Sam Peckinpah. Peckinpah became Akkad's mentor in Hollywood and hired him as a consultant for a film about the Algerian revolution that never made it to the big screen, but he continued to encourage him until he found a job as a producer at CBS. In 1888, Beirut was made capital of a vilayet (Wilayah) (governorate) in Syria, Modern Beirut, Macalester College including the sanjaks (prefectures) Latakia, Tripoli, Beirut, Acre and Bekaa. History of Beirut, Lebanon Links By this time, Beirut had grown into a very cosmopolitan city and had close links with Europe and the United States. It also became a centre of missionary activity that spawned impressive educational institutions, such as the American University of Beirut. Provided with water from a British company and gas from a French one, silk exports to Europe came to dominate the local economy. After French engineers established a modern harbor in 1894 and a rail link across Lebanon to Damascus and Aleppo in 1907, much of the trade was carried by French ships to Marseille. French influence in the area soon exceeded that of any other European power. The 1911 ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' reported a population consisting of 36,000 Muslims, 77,000 Christians, 2500 Jews, 400 Druze and 4100 foreigners. WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


traditional role

of the ancient city. *Old quarters outside the walls of the ancient city. *Modern neighbourhoods. *Informal settlements. Integrated Urban Development in Aleppo thumb ''Souq al-Dira''', maintaining its traditional role as a tailoring centre (File:Covered Suq of Aleppo2.JPG) The "Integrated Urban Development in Aleppo" (UDP) is a joint programme between the German Development Cooperation (GTZ) and the Municipality of Aleppo. WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


modern knowledge

to Sufism. On his way he stopped in Medina for a few days and encountered an anonymous saintly Yemeni, who prophetically warned not to condemn hastily anything he might see in Mecca apparently contradicting the sharia. He traveled to Hijaz through Mosul and Yarbikir and ar-Raha and Aleppo and finally Damascus. There he spent some time, meeting its scholars and studying with the master of both ancient and modern knowledge, scholar of hadith, Shaykh Muhammad al-Kuzbari. He received authorization in the Qadiri Tariqat from Shaykh al-Kuzbari and his deputy, Shaykh Mustafa al-Kurdi, who travelled with him until he reached Medina. Once in Mecca, he went to the Kaaba where he saw a man sitting with his back to the sacred structure and facing him. Forgetting his admonition, he inwardly reproved the man, who asked "do you not know that the worth of the believer is greater in Allah's eyes than the worth of the Kaaba?" Penitent and overwhelmed, Mawlana Khalid asked for forgiveness and begged the stranger to accept him as a disciple. He refused, telling him that his master awaited him in India. '''Kırıkhan''' is a town and district in the northeastern part of Hatay Province, Turkey. The name ''Kırıkhan'' means “broken inn” in the Turkish language, perhaps a reference to one of the many lodgings that once lined the road. The town stands at the intersection of the route between İskenderun and Aleppo, and the major east-west road between Antakya and Kahramanmaraş. International career Ahmed received his first formal call up to the Pakistan national football team squad for their World Cup 2010 preliminaries (2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round) against Iraq (Iraq national football team) on 22 October 2007 in Lahore, where he made his debut in a hefty 7–0 loss, and 28 October 2007 for the return leg in Aleppo, Syria "Burnley's Ahmed gets Pakistan call-up" "International call for Adnan" which surprisingly finished goal-less between the two sides, although Iraq went through the next round on aggregate scores. Adnan scored his first goal for Pakistan in a humiliating 7–1 loss against Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka national football team) in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualification. Idrimi was a Hurrianised Semitic son of the king of Aleppo who had been deposed by the new regional master, Barattarna, king of the Mitanni. Nevertheless he succeeded in regaining his seat and was recognized as a vassal by Barattarna. Idrimi founded the kingdom of '''Mushki''' WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


study period

- les Jeunes de Langues. After a study period in Aleppo, he arrived in 1674 in Isfahan (Isfahan (city)) where he stayed till June 1676. From a short description of his stay we learn of his deep interest in the manners of the "dervish". Later that year, Zengi, the ''atabeg'' of Aleppo and Mosul, besieged the castle of Barin (Barin (castle)) in the territory of Tripoli. Raymond called for help from King Fulk of Jerusalem, but Zengi defeated them


lively place

''': There are many mosques in the city but this is the largest and most ornate. Do Walk around the city at least a few times to really get a feel for what it is like. It is a vibrant and lively place that will continually surprise you. Any amount of time spent walking around the city will reveal another historical site or point of interest. Check out the Christian section of the city to see a different part of Aleppo. If you want to shop for clothes, al-Telal street is bustling nearly every night with crowds checking out the shops and street stands piled high with every type of clothing imaginable. Buy Gold: Although the prices are as high as they have ever been, gold is still a worthwhile purchase here. There is a special gold pattern called the Aleppo weave or chain that is made only in Aleppo. All gold is sold by weight and is 22 carat. Boxes: Aleppo is also famous for its intricate inlay work that can be found in boxes of all shapes and sizes. These boxes are beautiful and can be found at almost all of the shops in the souq. A great, affordable gift to take home. Wraps Tablecloths: There are many nice wraps that can be worn as shawls or used as tablecloths that are also available everywhere in the souqs. Another good gift. thumb Sweets with pistachios (Image:AlepFustuq.jpg) Sweets: Pistachios are everywhere in Aleppo and accordingly there are many different kinds of sweets made from the pistachio. These usually come in a decorative box and are yet another good gift. Coffee and spices: It is impossible to walk through the souq without being caught up in the scent of freshly ground coffee and spices like cumin. You can also buy very ornate pots to make your coffee in. Soap: One of the most famous Aleppine products is its olive oil soap. Many factories produce this using traditional techniques. The price varies from about 70SP per kilo to as much as 400 SP or more depending on the proportion of olive and laurel oil, prices and assortment is better in the shops just in the 2 roads south of the Clock Tower rather than in the Souq's tourist traps, even if most shop keepers speak very little English (prices per kilo are clearly shown). Eat Common Syrian street food like falafels and shwarma are excellent and available throughout the city. In the souks you will also find tiny restaurants with a few stools serving up dishes like Fuul (pronounced “fool”), a bean soup served with fresh bread, onions and mint. If you are adventurous, look for the men frying curry-flavoured pancakes near the entrance to the souk. The pancakes are wrapped in bread and topped with hot sauce. Also try and buy some of the freshly made pita bread that is sold everywhere as it is delicious. For breakfast, a fresh glass of juice (40 SP for a large glass of mixed juice, 50 SP for takeaway) and cheese sandwich (15 SP) can be had from the juice stands near the clock tower. Many cafés also serve great ice cream for a treat. If you are tired after a day of wandering around the souk, try one of the cafés near the base of the citadel. They offer light snacks and drinks, including a wide range of coffees and refreshing glasses of minted lemonade. Travellers on a strict budget should be prepared to eat very similar meals everyday as there is not a lot of variety in the diet at the cheaper end of the range. There are plenty of good restaurants around and meals are very affordable. In the Christian Quarter (El Jedeide) district * WikiPedia:Aleppo commons:Aleppo


landscape early

Ancient Syria: A Three Thousand Year History author Trevor Bryce page 111 and the city was known as the city of Hadad. Naram-Sin of Akkad mention his destruction of Ebla and Armani Armanum (Armani (kingdom)), ref>


winning contemporary

. *Abed Azrie, composer and classical songs performer. *Abd al-Rahman Mowakket, prize-winning contemporary sculptor. *Harut Sassounian, Armenian-American writer, publisher of The California Courier. *Muhammed Faris, first Syrian cosmonaut. *Seta Dadoyan, Armenian scholar and historian. *Karnig Sarkissian, Armenian revolutionary songs performer. *Paul Baghdadlian, Armenian singer. *Najdat Anzour, TV director of Circassian (Circassians) origins. * Bassam

Aleppo

'''Aleppo''' ( Russell, Alexander (1794), The natural history of Aleppo, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, pp. 1–2 Gaskin, James J. (1846), Geography and sacred history of Syria, pp. 33–34

Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (List of cities by time of continuous habitation#Middle East); it has been inhabited since perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC. ''Columbia Encyclopedia'', Sixth Edition (2010) Excavations at Tell as-Sawda and Tell al-Ansari, just south of the old city of Aleppo, show that the area was occupied since at least the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC; The Oxford encyclopedia of archaeology in the Near East (1997) and this is also when Aleppo is first mentioned in cuneiform tablets unearthed in Ebla and Mesopotamia, in which it is noted for its commercial and military proficiency. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (2010) Such a long history is probably due to its being a strategic trading point midway between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (i.e. modern Iraq).

The city's significance in history has been its location at the end of the Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia. When the Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, trade was diverted to sea and Aleppo began its slow decline. At the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Aleppo ceded its northern hinterland to modern Turkey, as well as the important railway connecting it to Mosul. Then in the 1940s it lost its main access to the sea, Antioch (Antakya) and Alexandretta (İskenderun), also to Turkey. Finally, the isolation of Syria in the past few decades further exacerbated the situation, although perhaps it is this very decline that has helped to preserve the old city of Aleppo, its medieval architecture and traditional heritage. It won the title of the "Islamic Capital of Culture 2006", and has also witnessed a wave of successful restorations of its historic landmarks, until the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 and the Battle of Aleppo (Battle of Aleppo (2012–present)). Agha Khan restoration plans of the old city

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