In 2012, towards the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, opposition figures like Mutasem Syoufi had hoped that one day, a transitional government could take over from the Assad regime and pave the way for justice after decades of human rights abuses.


The following is an interview with Sawsan Abou Zainedin, a Syrian architect and urban development planner. She works as a researcher on addressing the challenges of Syria’s reconstruction and recovery with a number of organisations including with the Syrian Centre for Policy Research and the Syrian Women’s Political Movement.


Four years ago, Aleppo was the site of one of the Syrian war’s most brutal urban assaults, as regime forces and their allies were in the final stages of recapturing the city’s besieged eastern neighbourhoods from rebels. That December, they succeeded.


It has been called "Syria's Solidere". What was once the informal Damascus neighbourhood of Basateen Al-Razi is today being ostensibly "reconstructed" as Marota City, a luxury real estate development financed by figures close to the government. The main company behind the project is Damascus Cham Holding, established in 2016 to finance Marota City.