The Aleppo Project Travels to Berlin

April 21, 2016

"My participation in this conference is a wonderful opportunity for me to meet other people who are involved in efforts to rebuild Aleppo," explained CCNR Fellow AlHakam Shaar. The conference, Rebuilding Aleppo: Past. Present. Future is being organized by the Association of the Friends of the Old City of Aleppo with the Working Group "Aleppo* - Strategies to Rebuild Aleppo." Architect and researcher Lena Wimmer, who works with the Friends of the Old City of Aleppo, gave a public lecture at the School of Public Policy's Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery on March 17. It was on that occasion that CCNR's The Aleppo Project began to collaborate with the association.

One of the areas in which they are working most closely is in efforts to involve inhabitants – past and present – in the process of rebuilding Aleppo. "People like Lena have architectural skills that can be very useful for The Aleppo Project," explained Shaar, "but we have networks in Syria and also among refugee populations that they are eager to contact, so it makes sense for us to work together."

While he is in Berlin, Shaar will also give a talk for Alsharq, Germany's leading blog on the Middle East. There are many people in Germany who have been interested in the Old City of Aleppo for years – since long before the 2011 revolution. The GIZ (German Cooperation for International Cooperation), for example, has been particularly active in restoring houses in the old city.

"I am happy to have this chance to meet experts, both Syrians and non-Syrians, who have worked in Syria before," said Shaar. He is also eager to introduce them to some of the tools that The Aleppo Project is using to gather information, such as the blog that is updated regularly and has a wealth of information, and a crowd mapping platform that The Aleppo Project will be launching soon.