Rabbat and Cakir Phillip began to pull the show together only in February of this year, driven by a desire to illustrate the composite, multicultural character of Syria and how “it contributed to all the great civilizations that grew up around the Mediterranean.”
The West tends to see modern-day Syria through a dark prism – a land of unending violence and hopelessness, of human and architectural destruction, of sectarian bloodletting and desperate refugees, a site of U.S. passivity and Russian interventionism, a country where names of cities such as Aleppo and Homs have become synonyms for suffering.
There is another Syria, however. An alternate or parallel Syria, if you will, spanning millenniums, encompassing diverse yet interconnected cultures, peoples, religions and languages. Ancient interconnections that speak of continuities and continuations and resiliences perceptible, perhaps, in the quiet moments between explosions, the cries of the wounded, the scream of a jet-bomber, the whoosh of an Islamic State executioner’s sword.
More at the source: James Adams for The Globe and Mail, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016