This is part of a project by luxury scarf retailer OSHEQ, Dubai, UAE. I was commissioned to produce illustrations for 3different scarves, and I concentrated on the importance of Heritage in the Middle East by attributing a city of endangered heritage to each scarf. The scarf presented here is titled 'The Guardian of Aleppo', the other two scarves are 'The Lions of Babylon' and 'The Lights of Beirut' .
We have all seen the human, urban, and cultural destruction that has befallen the city of Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Once a beacon of Ancient Syrian cultures, presenting layer after layer of diverse civilizations, Aleppo has been all but razed to the ground in the recent conflict that's devastated Syria. As a tribute to this city, several motifs and symbols from the different societies that had inhabited its sites throughout history have been utilized, mainly Hittite and Ottoman. The former civilization ruled the city of Aleppo almost 3,000 years ago, and its most important surviving traces have been unearthed underneath the Aleppo citadel, where a Hittite temple was found containing wondrous slabs which depicted beautifully executed magical and mythical beings, such as the child-faced sphinx portrayed twice on the scarf. As for the vegetal motifs and choice of color, it was adapted from the Aleppo Room, a magnificent representation of Ottoman artisanal prowess, nowadays found preserved in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.