Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters

Seven years into the war, Syria has become a country devastated by conflict, associated with images of rubble, death, and unimaginable tragedy. Before the war, of course, Syria had a completely different identity. Tourists flocked to the country for its barbecue, its culture, and its rich history, eager to explore several of the oldest cities in the world. In today’s issue, we’re reflecting on Syria before the war. A Syrian friend of mine shares a few memories of her home city. Then Karen Yuan asks Robert Kaplan, a journalist who covered Syria for The Atlantic in 1993, how he imagined the country’s future, 25 years ago.

—Caroline Kitchener


Memories of Aleppo

As told to Caroline Kitchener, Photos curated by Alan Taylor

To access this story, become a member

Sign up for our brand-new membership program, The Masthead, and you’ll not only receive exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else—you’ll also help fund a sustainable future for journalism.

Find Out More

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.