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In this talk, using unpublished portraits and photographs, Philip Mansel shows that Aleppo was a city with a rhythm of its own, challenging categories and generalisations. Lying between the desert and the sea, the mountains of Anatolia and the banks of the Euphrates, it was Arab and Turkish; Kurdish and Armenian; Christian, Muslim and Jewish. An Arabic-speaking city with a Muslim majority, under the Ottoman Empire Aleppo also became a centre of French culture and Catholic missions. Like many other cities in Syria and the Levant, it mixed East and West. Until 2012 Aleppo was distinguished by its harmony. For four hundred years, whatever their origin, its inhabitants had lived together relatively peacefully. The reasons for this harmony, and for its recent destruction in the Syrian civil war, are the subject of this talk.
Note: One of the best books on the city The Natural History of Aleppo is by two Edinburgh doctors, Alexander and Patrick Russell, first published in 1756, which forms the basis of Janet Starkey’s book The Scottish Enlightenment Abroad
Doors open at 6 pm
The talk begins at 6.15 pm
Questions and discussion to follow at 7 pm
Drinks and nibbles at 7.15 pm
Proceeds to go to Mercy Corps who are still working hard to support the fallout from 8 years of war in Syria.
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