How art is helping Syrian refugees keep their culture alive


As Syria’s cultural heritage continues to be ravaged by conflict, exiled artists in the Zaatari refugee camp recreate historical landmarks as a symbol of resistance

Using only wooden kebab skewers and clay, Mahmoud Hariri was painstakingly putting the finishing touches to a model of Palmyra he had spent months creating in a Zaatari refugee camp workshop. He was unaware that at that moment Isis was advancing on the ancient city.

A prolonged electricity blackout in the sprawling camp in Jordan’s northern desert meant news of Palmyra’s fall would take several days to filter through to the 80,000 refugees living there. But in the months that followed, Mahmoud, 26, watched the destruction of Palmyra’s majestic temples and ancient tombs with a sense of outrage and disbelief that was felt around the world.

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