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Beacon of Hope: Restoring the Ancient Bazaar in Aleppo

Beacon of Hope: Restoring the Ancient Bazaar in Aleppo

Dr Ali Esmaiel, Aga Khan Cultural Service Syria, 23 March 2022

From our series Culture, Conflict and Recovery in Asia

After years of conflict and violence, Aleppo lies in ruin. Humanitarian and development organisations struggle to deliver programmes to help those in need. High operational costs, insecurity, and the sheer scale of the recovery challenge hamper efforts to deliver aid. The Aga Khan Cultural Services (AKSC) in Syria is one of a small number of organisations able to operate in Aleppo. By restoring the city’s ancient network of souqs, the AKCS is providing employment to artisans, labourers and traders, and bringing life back into the heart of the old city.

Dr. Ali Esmaiel is the Head of the Aga Khan Culture Service in Syria. He overseas a broad portfolio of cultural programmes both in Damascus and Aleppo, where AKTC’s programmes were awarded the prestigious ICCROM Sharjah Award . Dr. Ali Esmaiel holds a Master Degree from Strathclyde University in Scotland and Ph.D from Washington University, US. He was awarded a prestigious Chevening Scholarship.



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