Memo on rehabilitating historical city of Maaloula signed

Damascus, SANA – Damascus Countryside Governorate and Damascus University on Monday signed a memo of understanding on rehabilitating the historical city of Maaloula.

The memo stipulates for rebuilding and rehabilitating damaged houses and neighborhoods in the old town of Maaloula after going over documents and studies of the city as part of a two-year plan, which will involve extensive proposals for repairing damaged structures in a sound, scientific manner which suits the historic period of each structure and the materials used in constructing it.

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The repairs will cover repairing building facades, roofing, and removing infringements on original structures, all according to scientific and international standards for rehabilitating historical cities. The process will begin by renovating three damaged structures to serve as a model for the rest of the process.

In a statement to journalists after the signing, Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs, Local Administration Minister Omar Ghalawanji said that the government will continue to rehabilitate the damaged areas across the country, noting that the Cabinet’s reconstruction committee allocated SYP 300 million for rehabilitating facilities and infrastructure in Damascus Countryside and SYP 250 million for repairing houses in Maaloula.

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Ghalawanji said Maaloula is a very important city due to its historical and archeological sites, and must be preserved according to the international standards for preserving world heritage.

In turn, Higher Education Minister Mohammad Amer al-Mardini stressed the importance of employing local expertise and talents in the reconstruction of archeological sites and structures, while Rector of Damascus University Mohammad Hassan al-Kurdi affirmed that the University will provide all necessary expertise and support by a team comprised of its best staff members to help rehabilitate Maaloula and all similar sites.

Hazem Sabbagh

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