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© Sacred Sites / Martin Gray

Workshop on urban development, sustainable development and tourism investment in the North district of Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

In 2001, the Syrian Arab Republic’s General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) requested technical assistance. Within the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, a seminar was organised in the Syrian Arab Republic to discuss the importance of, and need for, safeguarding of the Sarouja district.

The Ancient City of Damascus was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979. The property, characterised by a unique history and civilisation has a particularly rich cultural heritage. Founded in the 3rd millennium B.C., Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. The city has some 125 monuments from different periods of its history, one of the most spectacular is the 8th century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary.

The Sarouja district is located at the North-West of the World Heritage property Ancient City of Damascus. It is a historic area of great interest which has conserved its ancient urban fabric and many old vernacular buildings. The rehabilitation of the Sarouja district aims at its cultural, social and economic reinvigoration by means of the preservation of its architectural heritage urban fabric. This workshop on the management and urban development of Sarouja took place on 8 and 9 June 2004 and aimed at preparing a methodology of intervention suitable for the enhancement and revitalisation of the district. A round table facilitated a detailed discussion on physical conservation, its social and economic aspects, cultural tourism and the legislative aspects of the matter. A management plan was established together with the proposition of a series of actions designed for its implementation.

World Heritage Sites
Strategic objectives
  • Communities
  • Conservation
  • Capacity Building