Interactive Map Connects Past, Current, and Future Residents of Aleppo

March 24, 2016

The Aleppo Project has launched a new tool to encourage current and former residents "to help us preserve the past of Aleppo, document its present and start thinking about the future of a great city." The map, which was designed by the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University, promises to be an invaluable resource. It is also another way for the people of Aleppo to connect with each other. "What we hope," explained Armenak Tokmajyan, "is that as the word spreads and more people share their memories and knowledge in this way, we will have a better picture of the reality on the ground; a picture that one day will help us rebuild the city." Keeping these connections alive is essential to the success of any rebuilding effort after the war ends.

Like Tokmajyan, AlHakam Shaar has also worked on the Aleppo Project as a fellow at the School of Public Policy's Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery for almost two years. Shaar is also one of the Aleppians who has contributed to the map noting the locations. He visualized his memories of the old city, where he lived, and added pictures, quotes and labels on the interactive map. "We all have maps in our heads of the places where we lived, where we went to school, played with our friends. These are the mental maps that we want to capture before they are forgotten," he says.