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.
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.