Since my childhood I’ve found Syria’s history fascinating. Not only because of my roots and familial connection to the nation, but also because so much of it is living history. Modern Syrian life is intertwined with its past in ways I find engrossing. Walk down a ‘Street called Straight’ in Damascus, peer down into forest valleys from atop the Salah Al-Din’s castle or listen to the growls of the ancient Roman waterwheels of Hama, every place and moment speaks to a part of humanity’s record.
With that said, much of Syria’s past is hard to access. Until 2011, there was limited interest in academic, media and publishing circles. State archives are difficult to access, existing history websites are hard to navigate, and collective memory has been often shaped to reflect the interests and narratives of ideologues and those in power.
Furthermore, as Syria’s fortunes have fallen, the nation fragmenting and its people splintered across the globe, there has been a desire to recapture, romanticize and recollect simpler times. There has also been momentum to democratize access to Syria’s past (and present) with the launch of wonderful platforms like Syrian Archive, Creative Memory and numerous social media pages.
This momentum and longing to connect back to Syria’s rich and diverse past has inspired me to create Syrian Memories – a growing digital collection of visuals – old pictures, postcards, posters, art, stories and artifacts – representing the rich history and diverse regions of Syria.
Through Syrian Memories, I hope to create a more accessible and democratized opportunity for everyone to explore Syria’s past. Anyone can scroll through the collection of visuals, learn about Syrian history in long-form or bite size bits, and if they so desire, take a memory home from our store.
I’ve launched a bit earlier than I intended however want to use this as another vehicle to support Earthquake relief efforts. For the months of February & March, all profits (100%) will go towards emergency Earthquake relief efforts. After that a % of profits from every Syrian Memories product sold will be donated to Syrians in need.
Learn more about Syrian Memories – The place to explore, celebrate and share Syria’s history and heritage – one memory at a time.