Damascus, the capital of Syria, touts itself as “the oldest continually inhabited city in the world”. A mouthful, true, but mind-boggling nonetheless when you are reminded of the many great civilizations that once roamed the land – Arameans, Babylonians, Romans, Umayyads, Mamluks, the Ottomans. Indeed, the whole of Syria simply soaks with history, and no where is this more evident than in its nondescript, quotidian buildings. The triumphs and trials of mankind permeate the crevices of the walls, its exterior stained by the ebb and flow of humanity.
However, it was in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, where I was totally fascinated by the facades of its stone walls. The photo above shows the exterior of an apartment building discreetly hidden among the narrow alleyways of the relatively wealthy enclave of al-Jdeidah. The marks and scratches of the wall convey a sense of history that no word can match. These are the walls that mankind built, but time ultimately owns.