Perched on the Eastern Mediterranean and steeped in history, Syria has developed a sense of identity that is expansive yet resilient and not easily defined. Through successive political and geographic transmutations from Aram and Phoenicia, to Seleukia, to the Roman and Byzantine Oriens, to Islamic Bilad al-Sham, to a truncated modern Syria, the country has accumulated many interrelated cultures. Some flourished for a long time and radiated their influence near and far. Others shone brightly for only a brief moment. All, however, have contributed to the rich history of Syria, giving the country an aura of vivid multiculturalism long before the term was coined.
Syria: A Living History brings together over 5,000 years of artifacts that showcase the arts and diversity of Syrian civilizations. The reflection and influence of historical interrelated cultures is evident in modern and contemporary artworks, which together enhance the importance of Syria’s long history of artistic creativity.
Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip, Aga Khan Museum
Professor Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT
Dr. Ross Burns, Sydney, Australia
Exhibition photo by Aly Manji
© The Aga Khan Museum.