This is the state of Syria today. But of course, it wasn’t always this way. In 2003, eight years before the conflict, photographer Kevin Bubriski found himself on assignment in Syria, where he documented daily life and the country’s ancient monuments. He had no idea then of the war that was to come, or that it would end up destroying much of what he captured behind the lens.
Bubriski spent his time photographing moments in the bustling Aleppo Souk, considered the longest continuously inhabited place of commerce in the world. He also ventured outside the city, documenting the ancient villages of Northern Syria, the Church of Saint Simeon Stylites and the pilgrimage sites of Serjilla, al-Bara, Kharab Shams, Mushabak, Baqirha, Qalb Lozeh and Resafe. In addition, Bubriski photographed early Islamic sites near Raqqa and the ancient Roman trading cities of Apamea and Palmyra. While preserving these sites on film, according to his publisher, he “recalls holding his breath as he saw the ruins before him take shape on the ground glass of the analog film Hasselblad camera, and feeling very fortunate for being a witness to the beauty of the ancient monuments.”
Bubriski’s book of photographs from throughout Syria in 2003, titled “Legacy in Stone: Syria Before the War,” is available from powerHOUSE Books.
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