Welcome to Syrian Memories!
Founded in early 2023, the Syrian Memories mission is to celebrate Syrian history and heritage through an accessible digital collection of visuals and stories representing Syria’s rich history and diverse regions.
Since my childhood I’ve found Syria’s history fascinating. Not only because of my roots and familial connection to the nation, but also because so much of it is living history. Modern Syrian life is intertwined with its past in ways I find engrossing. Walk down a ‘Street called Straight’ in Damascus, peer down into forest valleys from atop the Salah Al-Din’s castle or listen to the growls of the ancient Roman waterwheels of Hama, every place and moment speaks to a part of humanity’s record.
With that said, much of Syria’s past is hard to access. Until 2011, there was limited interest in academic, media and publishing circles. State archives are difficult to access, existing history websites are hard to navigate, and collective memory has been often shaped to reflect the interests and narratives of ideologues and those in power.
Furthermore, as Syria’s fortunes have fallen, the nation fragmenting and its people splintered across the globe, there has been a desire to recapture, romanticize and recollect simpler times. There has also been momentum to democratize access to Syria's past (and present) with the launch of wonderful platforms like Syrian Archive, Creative Memory and numerous social media pages.
This momentum and longing to connect back to Syria’s rich and diverse past has inspired me to create this platform – a growing digital collection of visuals - old pictures, postcards, posters, art, stories and artifacts - representing the rich history and diverse regions of Syria.
Through Syrian Memories, I hope to create a more accessible and democratized opportunity for everyone to explore Syria’s past. Anyone can scroll through the collection of visuals, learn about Syrian history in long-form or bite size bits, and if they so desire, take a memory home from our store.
While we just launched in early 2023, ultimately, the plan is to grow this platform in phases into the premiere destination to explore Syria’s history and heritage.
This first, launch phase will include the steady, daily inclusion of digital visuals I’ve been collecting for years. This includes hundreds (if not thousands) of vintage photos, old postcards, illustrations and maps from across the Syrian experience.
Additionally, our product store will help our mission on two fronts.
- It will support and sustain the effort. For now, all the products you see – from framed photo reprints to Syrian Memories apparel – are fulfilled from print-on-demand vendors. If you appreciate the project, please help sustain it by shopping
- We want to create a continuous flow of support to Syrians in need, so I will be ensuring a percentage of profits from all product sales gets donated
Within six to nine months after launch, the second phase will launch with an added focus on deeper, more sophisticated content from a range of contributors – historians, artists, storytellers and beyond. We'll also be evolving our product mix depending on what you all desire.
If you have any questions, suggestions, corrections, or want to request a specific topic or product, please do reach out to me.
I’m thrilled to undertake this initiative. Join me in helping explore, celebrate and share Syria’s history and heritage - one memory at a time.
Sarab 'Abu Adib' Al-Jijakli