Deep down, I understand that any press is good press – especially for under-publicized places like Aleppo. So I’m glad that recent articles have caught on to the fact that there have been major rehabilitation projects going on.
But the writers need to do their homework – the projects have been going on for over twenty years, and most of the major initiatives for physical upgrading or conservation have reached ‘completion’ or are actually slowing (in terms of growth, investment, projects, etc.) in recent years. Also, why call the city ‘ravaged’? Maybe, after the Moguls, but now? The journalist interviewed several of the key actors, and listed more than a few facts, all of which is good, but just seemed to miss the point and ended up spinning his story in a strange direction. . that of a city ‘beaten down’, Maqrizi-style. Many of the other claims were a bit tenuous as well – economic decline just from the Suez canal? The piece is full of small cringe-worthy statements. I could have expected this from Bloomberg, but am surprised that the New York Times picked it up, with the title “Aleppo to undergo historic restoration”. What? To undergo? An jad? Why can’t we have more nuanced writing about the Middle East? Someday?