You know Aleppo as a vast landscape of bombed and burning historic buildings, cratered streets, and endless lines of fleeing, destitute families. But I will tell you about a time when things were different — when Aleppo was my home.
Since 2011, Syrians witnessed firsthand the simultaneous rebirth and destruction of their country on every scale: from home to nation. How does one express the collective and personal losses, hopes, regrets that have directly affected every Syrian? How does one absorb the traumatic everyday events devouring a country, preserve memories of the past, and look towards the future all at once? How do we reexamine the theories of urban trauma and national identity, collective memory and constructed memorial, heritage and reconstruction, under the harsh reality of ongoing war and global mass displacement? Let us begin, with a map of my Aleppo.