Alep forever

(English translation below.) “C’est un ville très ancienne et pourtant si jeune, bien qu’elle ait toujours été là. Elle rivalise de durée avec les jours et les ans et a survécu à ses dirigeants et son petit peuple. Voici ses résidences et ses maisons, mais où sont ceux qui les ont habitées et les ont occupées? Voici le palais royal et sa cour, mais où sont les princes hamdanites et leur poètes? Oui, tous ont disparu, seuls leurs édifices demeurent. Ville surprenante qui dure, mais dont les maitres ont passé; ils ont péri, mais elle n’est pas près de disparaitre.”

“It’s a city that’s simultaneously ancient and young, even though it has always been there. It competes for duration with the days and the years and has survived its rulers and its populace. Behold its residences and houses, but where are those who inhabited and occupied them? Behold the royal palace and its courtyard, but where are the Hamdanite princes and their poets? Yes, they’ve all gone; only their edifices remain. Surprising city which endures, but whose masters have vanished. They may have perished, but she is not ready to disappear.”

— Iban Jubayr, an Andalusian traveler, 1184. Cited by Julia Gonnella in “Arts & Civilisations de l’Islam,” published under the direction of Markus Hattstein and Peter Delius by Konemann. Printed in France.

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