On July 19, 2012, the Syrian Civil War made Aleppo, the country's largest city, its battlefield. Barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, killing thousands of people and forcing many more to evacuate. The destruction was immense and immeasurably devastating.
Aleppo's own Olympia Restaurant has just released a collection of before-and-after photographs, showing the once-vibrant and lively cityscapes alongside the same locations, now devastated by rubble and war. On Facebook, the restaurant wrote: “These 124 images show our beloved city, how it was, and how it is now after sabotage, destruction, looting and burning of the monuments, historical places, old houses, mosques, churches and the historical old markets (Souks) which are classified as Sites of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1986.”
As a city formerly known for its richness in art, culture, and many historical sites, Aleppo has been devastated through the relentless strife of war. These precious photographs may become the prime preserver of the city's ancient locations, its history, and its beauty.
You can view all 124 diptychs on Olympia Restaurant's Facebook.