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The art of defiance: Syrian refugees recreate lost monuments in miniature

As if the human tragedy happening in Syria wasn’t enough, the people who are losing their homes and families in alarming numbers are also losing a homeland that once boasted iconic monuments of inestimable worth to the entire world.

The Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is where many of those fleeing have come to call home, with the possibility that the relocation will become a permanent one, and the artists in forced residence there are showing defiance to the destruction in their own unique way: rebuilding the lost monuments in miniature.

As My Modern Met reported:

In an interview with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Mahmoud Hariri, an art teacher and painter from Syria, explained: “This is a way for them not to forget. As artists, we have an important role to play. A lot of what we know about ancient civilizations or prehistoric people is preserved through their art—Egyptian hieroglyphs or cave paintings.” The replicas are created using whatever materials the artists have on hand—from clay and rock to kebab skewers and discarded wood. Despite the makeshift fabrication, the resulting models are beautiful in their ability to symbolize a peoples’ determination.

If only we could treasure people as we treasure the art and architecture they leave behind.

The Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, built between the 8th and 13th century remains a famous holy site. Said to be one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, it served as a key battle ground in the Syrian conflict before being destroyed by bombings in 2013.

The Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, built between the 8th and 13th century remains a famous holy site. Said to be one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, it served as a key battle ground in the Syrian conflict before being destroyed by bombings in 2013.

Full story at My Modern Met.

The art of defiance.

Photo credits: Christopher Herwig/UNHCRGraphics credit: Canva

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