Notre Dame Fire Reminds Syria, Iraq, Yemen of History Lost During War

Published April 17th, 2019 - 10:52 GMT
The Umayyad mosque of Old Aleppo in ruins in 2013. (AFP)
The Umayyad mosque of Old Aleppo in ruins in 2013. (AFP)

As the world was watching Paris’ beloved Notre Dam Cathedral in flames, many people around the world remembered the hundreds of historical and religious places were burnt and torn down in wars.

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Notre Dame, with the religious and historic value it holds for French people and the human history, has its entire roof and unique spire falling down. Meanwhile, the precious paintings and treasures inside the cathedral were fortunately saved by the firefighters' efforts who spent nine hours battling the blaze until it was all extinguished.

Luckily, billionaires from France and Europe stepped up to helping to reconstruct the cathedral with millions of donations pouring in.

Pictures of Notre Dame on fire and the international massive media coverage and support it received reminded millions of Syrians, Yemenis and Iraqis of tens of thousands-year-old churches and mosques they lost to violence and war.

Thinking of a loss that can never really be completely restored, they went to the internet to mourn it and post before-and-after pictures for lost historical treasures.

Aleppo’s recognized 1350-year-old Umayyad Mosque that was almost completely destroyed by war in Syria was one of the oldest historical mosques that got destroyed.

Other historic churches in Syria were also destroyed, including the Forty Martyrs Armenian Church in Aleppo that was destroyed; some of which were destroyed by ISIS militants during the war and others by Russia-backed forces.

The Palmyra in Homs, a Semitic historic city that has archaeological finds dating back to the Neolithic period has also been destroyed and people shared heartbreaking photos for it.

And many, many others.

Photos of Yemen’s capital city, Sanaa, that has been destroyed in war have also resurfaced reminding the world of other tragedies that need attention.

The 85-year-old Mosul’s Leaning Minaret of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri also came to mind with photos of its minaret after destruction in ruins in 2017 being widely resurfacing on the internet.


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