Launched in 2004, Syrian History aims to document Syria’s history in photos and audiovisuals. It is the
largest gallery of Syrian History.
Syrian History is part of Haykal Media's Digital Network, which also includes:
Harvard Business Review Arabia
Sahban Abd Rabbo
Social Media Manager:
Message from the Founders
Seven years ago, we raised a motto that said we are the “first” online museum in
Syria. Today we re-brand ourselves as the “first, and only” such museum in Syria.
The idea for this website came to mind on a cold winter afternoon in early 2004, while I was at al-Rawda Cafe in the heart of Damascus, sipping tea with my good
friend and colleague, Sahban Abd Rabbo.
Sahban and I go a long way back, having met during our high school years and gone into careers that although different, sometimes overlapped; I was a writer and
historian while he was a pioneer webmaster in Syria. From one topic to another, we
began observing the majestic Syrian Parliament that was located across the street from al-Rawda. The coffeehouse we were in was 65-years old, while Parliament was
celebrating its 72nd birthday. That grand building has silently observed everything that occurred in our republic’s history since 1932, surviving a French onslaught in
1945, loud arguments by our MPs during our five wars with Israel, 19 presidents, 62 prime ministers, and a total of twenty military coups. Sahban and I decided right
there and then, to create a website documenting the recent history of Syria, from 1900 to 2000. The logic was simple and fairly straightforward: nobody had done
it before. I had a large private photo archive in Syria while he had the technical expertise to make it happen.
At the time of writing seven years down the road, Syrianhistory.com has become a household name in Syria. It is frequented often by the young and old and is immensely popular among expatriate Syrians. The website has received memorable coverage in popular Arabic dailies like al-Ahram, Syria-focused blogs like Syriacomment, and landed first page news in the mass circulation London-based al-Hayat. SyriaComment’s Joshua Landis called it a “labor of love” while al-Hayat’s Ibrahim Hamidi described it as “virtual encounter between President Shukri al-Quwatli and President Hafez al-Assad.”
In 2010, Syrian entrepreneur Abdulsalam Haykal bought shares in our online museum, making it a member of Haykal Media Group. Hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder, the three partners, Sahban, Abdulsalam, and I continue to provide a “labor of love” to the proud and rich history of modern Syria. We are now re-launching with a massive collection with new
exclusive photos, a larger audiovisual library, a more advanced and user friendly interface, and a version of the website in Arabic.
We won’t take up too much of your time. Part of our mission is to tell stories with
pictures, not with words. We leave you to browse through our website and turn
pages in the life of a nation that made us who we are today.
Editor-in-Chief and Founder
April 17, 2011