[CANCELLED] MSS Lunch Lecture Ghazwan Yaghi, 'Syrian cultural heritage, international values, and suffering after 2011'

11-06-2020 from 12:00 to 13:00
Ghent, Plateau, ground floor, Jozef Plateau Room (Aud. P)
Stefan Meysman
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Medieval Seminar Series lunch lecture

Please note that this lecture is cancelled due to the COVID-19 (Corona) situation and precautionary measures in Belgium and abroad. We will try to reschedule for autumn 2020 or early 2021.


The Syrian War is a major, ongoing armed conflict taking place in Syria from 2011 until now. This war is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time, and the Syrian's cultural heritage has become a serious casualty of the war. In Syria, there are more than ten thousand archaeological sites, about three thousand of them registered on the national list, and six sites registered on the World Heritage List. The Syrian archaeological heritage is one of the principal victims of the prolonged Syrian war, and as we have widely seen in media reports about Syria, describing damage to archaeological sites for both military and ideological reasons. The looting of antiquities to support fighting groups like "Islamic State -Daesh". And the rise of the illicit antiquities trade. The destruction and loss of communal and cultural property represent catastrophic damage that directly affects people and society, with long-term harm to culture, identity, and economy. The lecture will focus on the historical and archaeological significance of Syria before 2011. As well as the disastrous impact of this war on these archaeological sites, with a lot of comparisons between the reality of these monuments before and during the current conflict.


Archaeologist Dr. Yaghi was a senior lecturer in Syria (Damascus) prior to the outbreak of the war in 2011 and his leaving the country in 2014. He specializes in Islamic, especially medieval Mamluk, architecture. In 2018 he won a grant of the Dutch NWO to restart his career as a researcher in The Netherlands at Leiden University. Dr. Yaghi is also the founder and chairman of the Arabic-Dutch House of Culture.