Thursday, 21 May 2015

Palmyra Syria's heritage on verge of destruction

Palmyra the city of empires

ISIS has threatened another UNESCO world heritage site in Syria. Located in Syria's Homs governorate, the ancient city of Palmyra, over 4,000 years has witnessed periods of peace as well as aggressive wars and violence before. The Parthians, Persians, Assyrians, Romans and Syrians among other peoples have pass through and contributed to Palmyra's heritage throughout the centuries. Palmyra is mentioned in the Bible and in the Assyrian Annals. It was and remains a city of diversity. Even the original Islamic Caliphate that ruled Syria from 7th to left the city intact and contributed to the architecture building hilltop fortress and walls but respecting for the most part the architectural marvels that came before it. Palmyra city itself was also protected from harm. Palmyra is also known as Tadmur in Syria today. Many refugees from neighboring villages and towns had raced to Palmyra/Tadmur for refuge fleeing the war and ISIS. Now they will lucky have to flee again.

RT News Palmyra, Syria Battle

The metropolis of the Syrian Desert

ISIS have been purposely targeting Syria and Iraq's cultural heritage and memory outdoing even Taliban's destruction of the large Buddhist statutes at Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The city of Nimrod and Hatra monuments were grotesquely destroyed and filmed for the world to see. The larger artifacts were sold to foreign bidders most likely to end up in the museums in Western countries or an obsessive art collector's personal collection. Warped by the literalist interpretation of Wahhabism, ISIS has committed cultural genocide by physically erasing any pre-Islamic heritage and national symbols meant to unite Syria and Iraq. A few years back, an Egyptian wahhabi Sheik Morgan Al Gohary threatened to destroy another world/African heritage the Pyramids and Sphinx without recanting his threat. One can only imagine if ISIS and its takfiri cousins manage to spring up in Egypt or Sudan and start wrecking 5,000+ years of African and world heritage and society. Even the Ottomans didn't destroy the Hagia Sophia when Mehmed II and Ottoman Army entered Constantinople in 1453. The quest for revenge and show off immense power and control. The Hagia Sophia and Grand Mosque of Cordaba (which was spared from being destroyed by Spanish Christians after the 1492 Expulsion of Moors from Spain. It is both a cathedral and mosque but is known as La Mezquita) have both served as heritage monuments of conquest and coexistence between multiple faiths and cultures. Palmyra like Syria is also a crossroad of diverse peoples and a metropolis that has survived in spite of threats. 

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