Dar Zamaria

Work has finally been launched to restore one of Aleppo’s most famous old houses, Dar Zamaria. It is an eigteenth century old house turned into a charming boutique hotel. It was originally built for a wealthy family. Today, Dar Zamaria is owned by the Aleppo-based Martini Group. Having once been one of the most popular boutique hotels of Aleppo, it is now closed as it endured significant damage during the war. Martini Group has now, as of June 2020, begun the restoration of it.

Photos of the restoration work:


Photos of what the house looked like prior the war:


Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo

The Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo, is one of the oldest mosques in the world, and the third oldest mosque in Syria. It is particularly important for its Umayyad architecture, having been built in the year of 715 during the Umayyad Caliphate. With the outbreak of the war, the mosque saw devastating damage — including the destruction of its over 1000-year-old minaret. However, once the battle of Aleppo was concluded, restoration work began in the end of 2017 and is still ongoing.

Photo by SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency) on May 17, 2020.

The restoration of the mosque is funded by the Chechen Ahmad Kadyrov Foundation, which has donated over 14$ million to the project and will provide more if so is needed. The project itself is carried out by local hands with the cooperation and supervision of Aleppo City Council and the Old Aleppo Directorate.

Completion rate of the project (as of 05/18/2020):

90% — for the electrical and wood works, as well as the Qibla side of the mosque.

75% — for the main fronts that oversee the courtyard from the inside.

30%+ — for the rebuilding of the 1000-year-old minaret

Souk Al-Saqatiyya

Souk Al-Saqatiyya, considered to be the most admirable souk in Aleppo due to its formation, has been fully restored. This souk consists of 53 shops.

The venture was partially funded by the Aga Khan foundation at a cost of $400,000 (€357,168) and took eight months. The project began in December 2018 and ended in October 2019. The project was carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, part of the Aga Khan Foundation, in cooperation with the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums in Syria (DGAM), the Syrian Trust for Development, Aleppo City Council and Aleppo Governorate. The design proposal came from Dar Architects, A Syrian architectural firm. The most recent methods of documentation, preservation and protection were used – the BIM model (Building Information Modeling) and the HIM model (Historical Information Modeling).

Before the restoration, electricity wirings and sanitary pipes were in plan sight and not hidden. After the restoration, the souk now runs on solar energy and has the sanitary pipes hidden.

Ingen fotobeskrivning tillgänglig.

Photos showing the souk when work had first begun:

Ingen fotobeskrivning tillgänglig.
Ingen fotobeskrivning tillgänglig.
Ingen fotobeskrivning tillgänglig.

Photos showing the souk after its complete restoration:

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Photo: Abdo Hajj Ahmad
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Photo: Ramadan Masri

Khan Al-Jalabi

The archaeological site of Khan Al-Jalabi in Old Aleppo is currently undergoing restoration. This caravanserai was built in the year of 1301.


The project is being carried out with local hands and money.

Khan Al-Shouna

The caravanserai of Khan Al-Shouna in Aleppo, which was built in the year of 1546, is now being restored. Khan Al-Shouna functioned as a market for trades and traditional handicrafts of Aleppine art and consisted of 49 shops. It was one of the loveliest khans (caravanserais) in Aleppo, architecture-wise.


The project began earlier this year, after the Council of Ministers allocated 500 million SYP for both the restoration of Khan Al-Shounah and the completion of tourism vocational school in Aleppo.

Souk Al-Sweiqah

The commercial Souk Al-Sweiqah near the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo is under restoration. The souk dates back to the Byzantine era, fifth century AD. The original meaning of the word ”al-sweiqah” is ”small market in a neighbourhood”. Al-Sweiqah played an important commercial role in the 18th century, during which it would sell home appliances and utensils. Some Syrian Jewish families imported from Germany and sold them at the souk. The souk continuee specializing in home appliances and utensils until the war.


The restoration work began mid-late 2019. It is being restored by local hands and money.

Souk Al-Haddadin

Souk Al-Haddadin, the old traditional Blacksmiths’ market next to the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, is now under restoration. This market had once consisted of 37 workshops. It is one of the northern entrances to the old city.

Image taken by the Aleppo photographer Salah Maraashli.

The restoration began late 2019, and is being carried out by completely local hands and funds.

Souk Al-Khabieh

Souk Al-Khabieh in Aleppo is now being restored. The history of this souk goes back to thousand years, to the first emergence of the Silk Road. It was the main artery of the Silk Road, coming from Anatolia towards Aleppo. The most ancient trace in the souk goes back to the time of Al-Zaher Ghazi – son of Saladin. The souk contains a number of public water taps, which provide water to the caravans coming from the northern part of Syria, as well as a number of public baths, soap factories, quaysariat (group of industrial workshops), in addition to shops and bakeries. The souk consists of 109 shops, and is 210 meters long. While the souk in its current state goes 800 years back, it originally goes 2000 years back.

Photo taken by the renowned Aleppo historian Saleh Zakkour showing Souk Al-Khabieh.

The restoration is being carried out by UNDP, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Greek and Syrian Orthodox Archdioceses, and the Government of Japan. The project has created over 100 emergency job opportunities. The project was originally expected to be completed by the end of March or the beginning of April, though it seems COVID-19 slowed down the project. Nevertheless, the project is ongoing and it is near completion – likely finished by the end of May.

Rubble and debris have been removed, a new ceiling has been installed and the main building has been restored. As of May 1, the project has reached a 100 percent completion rate in the replacement of the metal roof, the repair of damaged structures and the building of stone arches for the shops. As for the work to restore the stones facades, it has reached a 90 percent completion rate. Finally, the work to install doors and eaves of historical nature have reached an 85 percent completion rate. Once completed, the lighting of the souk will run on solar energy.

Souk Khan Al-Harir

The historical souk of one of Aleppo’s most important caravanserais, Khan Al-Harir, is now being rebuilt. It was a market of sweets, chocolate and pistachio, with over sixty shops. The caravanserai itself is a two-story building dating back to the mid-16th century. Two other khans are connected to Souk Khan Al-Harir – Khan Al-Jaki and Khan Al-Banadqa.

Photos by the Aga Khan Trust For Culture showing Souk Khan Al-Harir before and after restoration.

The restoration is being carried out by the Aga Khan Trust For Culture, a branch of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The AKDN are a family of institutions that were founded by Aga Khan IV, the 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism (a branch of Shia Islam). They work with improving welfare in the developing world, with a particular focus on Muslim communities. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is carrying out the restoration of Souk Khan Al-Harir in cooperation with Aleppo City Council, the Syrian Trust For Development, and the Directorate-General of Antiquities & Museums (DGAM).

The restoration work began in December 2019, and the length of the project is 125 days. That means the project would have been completed around late April or early May. However, the project became temporarily halted in late March due to COVID-19, and has therefore gone off its original time-schedule. As of May, work has recommenced.