Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed Monuments

A group of Syrian artists living in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp have got together to pool their skills and resources and build models of their country’s historical landmarks that have been lost to the war.

In an interview with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Mahmoud Hariri, an art teacher and painter from Syria, explained: “This is a way for them not to forget. 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.” The replicas are created using whatever materials the artists have on hand—from clay and rock to kebab skewers and discarded wood. Despite the makeshift fabrication, the resulting models are beautiful in their ability to symbolize a peoples’ determination.

02Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed Monuments

03Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed Monuments

Mahmoud Hariri, constructing a model of Palmyra with clay and wooden kebab skewers.

04Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed Monuments

Ismail Hariri carving a monument out of large volcanic stone found at camp. Ismail was an interior designer before being forced to flee to Jordan with his wife and children in 2013. He has contributed several sculptures to the project.

05Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed Monuments06Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed Monuments

The Citadel of Aleppo, built in the 13th century, and located in one of the oldest cities in the world. Once a popular tourist site, it was then converted to a station used by combatants after fighting broke out in Syria in 2012. It has since been bombed several times.

07Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed MonumentsA replica of the statue of Ayyubid Sultan Saladin, a military and political leader famous for leading the Muslim opposition to the European Crusaders in the 12th century. It remains in the city of Damascus, which has not been as heavily damaged yet.

08Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed MonumentsThe Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge was built in 1927 for pedestrians to cross over the Euphrates River in north-eastern Syria. It was destroyed by shelling in 2013.

09Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed MonumentsThe Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, built between the 8th and 13th century remains a famous holy site. Said to be one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, it served as a key battle ground in the Syrian conflict before being destroyed by bombings in 2013.

10Syrian Refugees Recreate Destroyed MonumentsA replica of the Norias of Hamas, a 66-foot water wheel built along the Orontes River over 750 years ago; used to lift pots of water to higher elevation by making use of the power generated by the current


All images via Christopher Herwig/UNHCR.

via [MyModMet]

This entry was posted in Art and Artist, Good to Know / Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s