Many blog entries, particularly photo posts, are designed to inspire others to visit a particular place. This one is a definite exception. No tourist is likely to being visiting Aleppo anytime soon. As I heard the depressing news from Syria I looked back at my photos of our trip there in 2009. Our happy memories are now tinged with sadness and fear for the city and its people.
At the time of writing Aleppo stands on the brink. The destruction of the city and the massacre of its civilian population is widely predicted. It may be a long time before tourists can ever visit Aleppo again and when they do, it may look very different to how it does in these photos. No-one can say what will happen to Aleppo but it’s reasonable to fear the worst.
Recent visits to Sarajevo and Cambodia remind me that places do emerge from the other side of hell and people eventually become neighbours again with their recent mortal enemies. The tragedy is that the lessons of these horrors are not learned and the cycle of bloodbaths around the world continue.
So I give you a selection of pictures from the city of Aleppo, taken in happier times. I hope the city’s inhabitants are soon again able to offer tourists the warm welcome we enjoyed and for which we remain grateful.