Posts tagged ‘Raqqa’

15/09/2014

There is not yet any evidence that the Islamic State has destroyed Sufi shrines in Deir Ezzor, Syria, September 2014

Ruslan Trad @ruslantrad asked me, ‘is this true? “Islamic State destroys Sufi shrines in eastern Syria“‘ (in Deir Ezzor). I have fact-checked this report, but I repeat: I cannot do this fact-checking any longer.

Miracle of miracles, I actually have a very short period of paid work, for which I am working more than full-time. After that, I will have to work more than full-time on the book. I would dearly love to do this work properly, but no-one is paying me for it, not even the mainstream media that are using my work, and I cannot live without an income.

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03/09/2014

Islamic State cultural racketeering: looting, smuggling, taxation of excavation and export?

Archaeologists Amr Al-Azm and Salam al-Kuntar and cultural policy specialist Brian Daniels have written an op-ed on ISIS’ antiquities sideline in the New York Times, in order to highlight the social benefits of Syria’s historic environment (which is even more powerfully highlighted by the Islamic State’s efforts to destroy the multicultural places under its control), and to raise awareness of the Syria Campaign-led push for a ban on trading in undocumented Syrian antiquities.

Al-Azm, al-Kuntar and Daniels have been training Syrian professionals and volunteers ‘to document and protect’ cultural property, including people who live and work in Islamic State territory. Through ‘extensive conversations’ during the training (in Turkey), they have gained insights into antiquities looting and smuggling in Syria. What have they found out?

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