“The Ancient Walls of Damascus and the Siege of Mouaddamiyya: A Historical and Spatial Analysis of Bounded Place and Cultural Identity.” Space and Culture, 2017. 

Nour Halabi

Throughout the Syrian crisis, the presence of material and symbolic boundaries to culture became a particularly salient element of the continuously unfolding political turmoil. As one terrorist group, Daesh, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, seeks to unite the vast area of the Middle East under the political, religious, and cultural administration of a “Greater State of Syria,” or “al-Sham,” this article revisits the historical spatial organization of Damascus and the construction of city boundaries and walls as factors that contributed to the cultivation of spatially grounded cleavages within Syrian and Damascene identity. In the latter section of this article, the author reflects on the impact of these cleavages on the Syrian crisis by focusing on the public response to the siege of the Mouaddamiyya neighborhood.

Published in Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 441-453