Watch: Aleppo souk reopens, representing return to former way of lifeComments
A centuries-old Aleppo market re-opened on Thursday, seven years after it was partly destroyed in the fighting that took place in the city as part of the Syrian conflict.
The market is part of an area listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its Arab culture.
"By reopening this market, the Syrian government wishes to send the world a message that we are committed to preserving our cultural heritage. Although many of them were destroyed in the war, we are still trying to rebuild and recover them," said Rami Martini, Syria's Minister of Tourism.
For traders and shoppers, being back in the al-Saqatiyah souk represents a partial return to their old lives.
Vendor Abdullah Altayeb, 52, sold nuts in the market for years before the war and never thought that it might end his booming business. But for his personal safety, he closed his shop and left the souk.
"There used to be so many people that it would take you ten minutes to cover just 100 metres," he recalled. "We were born and grew up here, and the stores are passed down from generation to generation. I will also pass the store to my children. The old market is our wealth, and we will not leave it."