Citadel of Aleppo | Reuters
Post-war reconstruction has been ongoing in the Ancient City of Aleppo since the Syrian government recaptured the city from opposition forces in December 2016.
It has been two years since fighting ended in Aleppo, once Syria’s economic hub, and the previous war zone has been recovering, albeit slowly, since reconstruction efforts were launched in the city.
The Citadel of Aleppo in the center of the Ancient City, which used to be on the front line, has now opened to tourists after renovation, and when weather permits, it even hosts cultural events.
“It’s actually beautiful and it’s really an achievement we really did that we took it back,” said a local of Aleppo, adding “It’s actually really beautiful and a real beautiful feeling that we can come here and visit it again.”
Around the citadel, many stores have reopened and street vendors have also started selling.
“I sell sweet corn around here and the business is good. I can sell a lot in summer and business is also quite good in winter,” said a local street vendor.
However, walking deeper into the historical heart of Aleppo, there still lie signs of destruction, with gutted buildings, walls pockmarked with bullet holes, and piles of rubble along the streets.
The reconstruction is ongoing, but it is expected to be a long process.
According to a deal reached between Russia and Turkey in September, a demilitarized zone has been set up on the border of the opposition-controlled area of Idlib. With Aleppo remaining a target of the militants, it is unlikely that a highway linking to Idlib will open by the end of the month.
But locals are still hopeful that peace will finally return to Aleppo and other parts of the country.
“I hope that Aleppo will never see any war again. We all hope so and we hope that Idlib will be also liberated as soon as possible,” said a vendor. — Reuters