Modernization Threatens Historic Arabian City

<p>In Damascus, plans to build an eight-lane highway through the middle of what is one of the oldest Arabian cities in the world have upset locals and historians.</p>
August 7, 2007, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"A plan to bulldoze two ancient districts just outside the city's northern gates to build an eight-lane motorway flanked by high-rise blocks skirting the city wall may, for the moment, have been held up. But many locals still face eviction orders and have been offered meagre compensation. Both businessmen and conservationists fear that the bulldozers may soon roll in."

"Syrians have welcomed a burst of architectural restoration across the country. But they are worried that the proposed motorway, running between the Bab al-Salaam and the Bab Touma, two of the city's old gates, may threaten the city's hoped-for cultural renaissance."

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Published on Thursday, August 2, 2007 in The Economist
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