By Christian Sahner
As a civil conflict shatters a rustic and consumes its humans, historian Christian C. Sahner deals a poignant account of Syria, the place the earlier profoundly shapes its dreadful current. one of the Ruins blends heritage, memoir and reportage, drawing at the author's broad wisdom of Syria in historical, medieval, and glossy instances, in addition to his stories dwelling within the Levant at the eve of the battle and in the middle of the "Arab Spring". those plotlines converge in a wealthy narrative of a rustic in consistent flux - a spot renewed through the very shifts that, within the close to time period, are proving so damaging.
Sahner specializes in 5 issues of curiosity to a person intrigued and dismayed via Syria's fragmentation on account that 2011: the position of Christianity in society; the arriving of Islam; the increase of sectarianism and competing minorities; the emergence of the Ba'ath get together; and the present pitiless civil battle.
Among the Ruins is a brisk and illuminating learn, an available advent to a rustic with an vastly wealthy earlier and a sad current. For an individual looking to comprehend Syria, this ebook may be their place to begin.
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Extra resources for Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present
Muhammad’s balanced assessment rang true. 23 The bathhouse stood about fifty miles east of ‘Amman. Built of sand-colored limestone, it struck a low profile against the desert expanse. The main hall was not large, comprising three barrel-vaulted aisles around 45 feet long and 35 feet wide. A door on the western wall led into an attached bath complex, once fed by rain water that was stored in an underground cistern. â•… More noteworthy than Qusayr ‘Amra’s architecture was its interior decoration.
Although most Muslims in Syria are Sunnis, the mashhad of Hussein always attracted large crowds of Shi‘i pilgrims—some from Lebanon and Iraq, along with many from Iran. Perhaps this explains why the place seemed rather forlorn, as if the mosque’s Sunni caretakers had forgotten about it. 20 But what the shrine lacked in plush carpets and good lighting like the rest of the mosque, it more than made up for in feeling. â•… Around the silver-plated niche where Hussein’s head was once displayed—a square box roughly a foot long on each side—stood women dressed in flowing black robes, struggling to hold back their tears.
Foreigners often paid ten or twenty times more than locals. Despite weighing entrance prices in their favour, it was rare to see large numbers of Syrians visiting these treasures aside from the occasional busload of students or the chance family excursion. This was especially true of monuments 6 THE IMPERIAL MOMENT: ISLAM IN SYRIA from the pre-Islamic period—the sprawling classical cities, Byzantine churches, and Neolithic settlements—which were usually abandoned save for a handful of European visitors milling around, as well as a few locals who tended the grounds or sold souvenirs.
Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present by Christian Sahner