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Mosaic Stories
Sharing stories of endangered cultural heritage in the Middle East
Traditional Textiles
and Clothing
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Transmitting Heritage
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Traditional Recipes
and Food
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Shared Sites
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Disappearing Languages
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Cooks, Dressmakers, Scholars,
Singers, and Farmers 
Meet the heroes preserving threatened culture
across the Middle East
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Mulberry trees are famous in the Damascus countryside. Qaboun has two varieties: toot baladi and toot shami.

A Voice from Qaboun

“Our homes don’t just contain our life earnings, they contain our memories and dreams; they stand for what we are. To destroy one’s home should be taken as an equal crime to destroying one’s soul.” Marwa al-Sabouni, The Battle for Home, Memoirs of a Syrian Architect. Recently, film footage emerged from…[…]

A'zad Nabo and Naguib Nassib are two third generation pastry chefs working at Salloura, an Aleppo pastry shop now in Istanbul.

The Flavors of Damascus and Aleppo, in the Heart of Istanbul

Istanbul has absorbed some 450,000 Syrian refugees out of more than three million in the country. On a recent visit, I looked at how two Syrian restaurants now operating in Istanbul are keeping the food culture of Aleppo and Damascus alive in exile. A Taste of Souk Saruja You could almost…[…]

A boy waits for his woven palm from artisan Tawfiq Samara, who works in Jerusalem's Christian Quarter.

Braiding Palms in the Old City of Jerusalem

The feast of Palm Sunday, the day on which tradition says that Jesus rode a donkey over the Mount of Olives and into Jerusalem, has been an important Jerusalem feast at least since late antiquity. The 4th century pilgrim of Egeria, in her famous pilgrimage diary, writes of seeing “all…[…]

Ahmad Mohammad Ghazaq, Mohammad Rustum and Rustum Ziad Rustum pose in their traditional costumes.

The Abu Rustom Dance Troupe Keeps the Tradition of Homs Alive in the Heart of Zaatari

A simple coffee shop on the main street of the Zaatari camp holds a secret. In a room in the back, a sword-dancing, chanting, brilliantly clothed group of Syrian men and boys practice the Aradah shabiya, a traditional Syrian folk dance, preparing for their performances in weddings and special occasions…[…]
Bilal Abu Khalaf in his fabric shop - by Aaron Cederberg

Bilal Abu Khalaf in his fabric shop - by Aaron Cederberg

The Surviving Threads of Syria’s Textile Industry

I’ve spent the past few months searching for the threads of a disappearing world. Syria’s textiles—richly textured in blues and yellows, reds and creams, often threaded with gold and silver colored threads, and with a quality that sometimes makes them seem to shimmer in the light—have long been the country’s pride.…[…]
Syrian style eggplants for sale in the market of Ramtha, Jordan

Syrian style eggplants for sale in the market of Ramtha, Jordan - by Stephanie Saldaña

The Seeds of Makdous

Of the many stories of heritage I’ve heard in the past months, the one that has stayed with me the most is about seeds. When I traveled to Ramtha on the northern Jordanian border this November, I heard from locals that Syrian refugees had been arriving from nearby Daraa across the…[…]

A man from Damascus sells coffee outside of Nafeesa a Damascus sweet shop in Amman while wearing the Damascene traditional clothes. His costume makes use of different fabrics for the headscarf the vest and belt and the shirt - by Stephanie Saldaña

Syrian Textiles Photo Gallery

 #ngg-gallery-c83bc50c7b087dadb712e91b5560eba6 .ngg-pro-masonry-item { margin-bottom: 10px; }…[…]