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December 2016


I visited Aleppo, East and West, December 10-14, 2016. I was there when Eastern Aleppo was liberated or fell, depending on your perspective and the media coverage; I was among the first handful of foreigners to get into the East after that event.

One can only wonder: There were no Nordic media and no Western media (with the exception of a photographer from Croatia) present on the 11th when this historic event took place. Why?

Aleppo and its massive destruction

Aleppo is, or was, the largest city in Syria and the third largest in the Ottoman Empire. It's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; it may have been inhabited since the 6th millennium BC - the old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. All of Aleppo is about 190 square kilometres.

I had not visited it earlier but it must have been uniquely beautiful and very dynamic in terms of culture and industry - situated at the old Silk Road too and hosting the largest industrial zone in Syria which gave employment to 30,000-40,000 workers and their families.

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