Expert Views: Beyond a Top-down Approach to Aleppo’s Reconstruction
For months I had heard reports of the devastation wrought by ongoing conflict in Syria, and then, at long last, an ending. Finally, I thought, the refugees can return and rebuild their city. Aleppo had lost so much, but it was also a clean slate. Perhaps the destruction could also be an opportunity. I had no connection to Aleppo or Syria other than the news reports I had read, and I knew little about its history, culture, or even urban planning. But questions kept nagging me: How would people start to rebuild? How should they? What were the obstacles? So I pitched an Expert Views piece to Syria Deeply where I could ask my questions and let more knowledgeable people answer them. Unlike the journalism I usually do, where I work to fully understand the issue, connect the dots, and provide context, I acknowledged my ignorance of the region and its people and let the words speak for themselves. I learned so much and I heard some amazing stories. I hope these people and their families continue to thrive.