The Souqs of Aleppo, Syria: Reconstructing Place Identity

Hala Asslan, Husam AlWaer, Ahmad Khanji

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Since its foundation in the second millennium BCE, the ancient city of Aleppo has been a major centre of commerce and production. At the heart of intensive economic interaction between the East and West, the city is known for its role in local, regional, and international trade. In the Old City, many buildings have associations with trade activities, including the souqs, khans, and qaysariyyas, all of which have left their mark on the architectural fabric of the city. Unfortunately, after ten years of armed conflict, the city’s historic monuments and souqs have been damaged. Souq or suq (سوق), in this chapter, refers to a marketplace with shops on both sides of a street, generally organized according to products or activities. In this chapter, the historical role of souqs in shaping the city of Aleppo is explored, including their role beyond commercial activities, by tracing their consistent presence until the Syrian conflict reached Aleppo in 2012. This chapter is also concerned with the post-conflict rehabilitation process of the Al-Saqatiyya market, one of the most well-known in Aleppo. The conclusion highlights the need for a clear rehabilitation and reconstruction policy, in addition to promoting local community participation in decision-making to support the crucial role of Aleppo’s markets in revitalizing the city’s socio-economic strength.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture and Urban Transformation of Historical Markets
Subtitle of host publicationCases from the Middle East and North Africa
EditorsNeveen Hamza
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter6
Pages81-96
Number of pages16
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781003143208
ISBN (Print)9780367697815
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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