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Aleppo: The City
October 13, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
My Aleppo: When Memory Becomes Resistance – Lina Sergie Attar
You know Aleppo as a vast landscape of bombed and burning historic buildings, cratered streets, and endless lines of fleeing, destitute families. But I will tell you about a time when things were different — when Aleppo was my home.
Since 2011, Syrians witnessed firsthand the simultaneous rebirth and destruction of their country on every scale: from home to nation. How does one express the collective and personal losses, hopes, regrets that have directly affected every Syrian? How does one absorb the traumatic everyday events devouring a country, preserve memories of the past, and look towards the future all at once? How do we reexamine the theories of urban trauma and national identity, collective memory and constructed memorial, heritage and reconstruction, under the harsh reality of ongoing war and global mass displacement? Let us begin, with a map of my Aleppo.
Aleppo City Market: Defining Space and Time – Annika Rabo
Author of A shop of one’s own, Independence and Reputation among Traders in Aleppo, Rabo will share insights from her fieldwork during 1997-2002 in Souk al-Medina (the city’s market) as one of Aleppo’s key social urban institutions. As a site for social interaction and formative human experiences, how do traders and customers interact and define time and space around them in the market? What does this tell us about the multi-faceted relationship between the state, the people and the economy?
Snapshots of Aleppo’s Social Urban History- Karam Nachar
From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, Aleppo was the most important city in the Ottoman empire boasting an extremely rich and complex history. By universalizing the discussions of Aleppo, Nachar will undo nostalgic historical accounts and demystify the charming discourse of the ancient oriental city. Like any other city, Aleppo has its entangled worlds and complex class struggles. Karam Nachar will take us in a journey through the last four hundred years which gave rise to Aleppo as a world trade center. We will hear about the class- and sect-related tensions that this rise engendered in the city and continued to inform its social politics until our present day.
Lina Sergie Attar is a Syrian-American architect and writer from Aleppo. Currently living in the US, she is the co-founder and CEO of Karam Foundation. Attar frequently travels to the Syrian border in southern Turkey to run Karam’s Smart Aid programs. Her articles and essays have been published in the NYT, Foreign Policy, Politico, and BBC. Attar is a co-founder of the How Many More? project and serves on the Board of Directors of The Syria Campaign.
Annika Rabo is professor in Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. Rabo received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology in 1986 after completing a thesis on the political and social effects of a gigantic irrigation scheme along the Euphrates in northeast Syria. From the end of the 1990s she has worked on traders in the Aleppo bazaar, which resulted in the book A Shop of One’s Own Independence and Reputation among Traders in Aleppo.
Karam Nachar is the Executive Director of AlJumhuriya.net, an online journal that covers Syrian politics and culture, and a Lecturer at Isik University, Istanbul. Nachar completed his PhD in Modern History at Princeton University in 2014, with focus on Cultural and Intellectual History of Modern Syria and Lebanon. Nachar holds a Masters in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University.
Jørgen Jensehaugen (moderator) is an Associate Professor in Modern history at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. He holds a PhD in history from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His forthcoming book Arab-Israeli Diplomacy under Carter: The U.S, Israel and the Palestinians will be published by I.B. Tauris in 2018. He is a board member of Babylon – Nordic Journal of Middle East Studies.