Aleppo: Before and after images

Aleppo, Syria’s second city, was once the country’s commercial and industrial hub, as well as a major regional tourist destination.

But four years of war have left large parts of the Old City – designated by Unesco as a World Heritage site – in ruins.

As the evacuation of the rebel-held eastern areas nears completion and government forces take full control of the city, pictures have begun to emerge of the devastation.

Citadel

The 13th century Citadel of Aleppo is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, but the war has left it badly damaged inside and out.

Syrian government soldiers used the citadel as a defensive stronghold and, as a result, it frequently came under fire from rebel fighters.

Umayyad mosque: 6 Oct 2010, 17 Dec 2016

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Just to the west of the citadel, the Great or Umayyad Mosque – built between the 8th and 13th centuries – has been left almost in ruins. Its 45m (150ft) 11th century minaret was toppled three years ago.

Al-Shibani School

The 12th Century al-Shibani School, just to the south of the mosque, had become a venue for hosting cultural events and exhibitions after a major renovation.

Now the centre is deserted, in need of major building work.

Hammam al-Nahasin: 6 Oct 2010, 17 Dec 2016

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Hammam al-Nahasin, also just south of the mosque, is situated in the heart of Aleppo’s ancient souk and dates back to the 13th Century.

The male-only bathhouse was another popular tourist destination before the civil war.

Shabha Mall: 12 Dec 2009, 16 Oct 2014

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It isn’t just the old city that has been damaged. The fighting has also closed the Shabha Mall – one of the largest shopping centres in Aleppo.

The mall was for a while reportedly used by so-called Islamic State as a prison before being taken over by the rival jihadist group, al-Nusra Front.

All images courtesy of Reuters.

ARTICLE RETRIEVED FROM : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38396747

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The Hidden Oracle Book Review

Apollo is the most narcissistic, hippest and probably the most sarcastic god ever, as he was depicted in the previous PJO and HOO series. Yes, he has cameos there. And I can even feel his self-esteem overflowing now that he finally has his own series, with him as the main attraction. The downside? He’s punished by Zeus to be a nerdy 16 year old with horrible acne problems. Oh, you’ll also find hilarious haiku’s in every chapter. Over all, I think it’s great. Apollo being useless and all without his powers but I think we’ll see more action in the next book.
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Legend Book Review

At this point, you guys should’ve noticed how I love dystopia. Hindi naman ako magde-deny, haha! They’re absolutely good reads! And Legend by Marie Lu is no exception. Day is the most wanted criminal in a futuristic United States. He’s the champion of his people. He makes the Republic look bad because they couldn’t catch him. On the other hand, June, is the Republic’s prodigy. She’s the only one to get a perfect 1500 score on their Trial, or so they thought. This book is the perfect blend of action and adventure. Another one of the books I would highly recommend. Also, look out for the second book, Prodigy. The continuation of June and Day’s journey.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series Book Review

Fun fact : This is the first series my Dad bought for me, and it got me seriously hooked with mythology ever since. The first two books, The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters already have their movie adaptations, but let me tell you, you’ll definitely love it more if you read the books. Take my word for it. I was actually a bit bummed by the movie because it was entirely different from the book, but ofcourse there will always be changes because you can’t fit all those exciting events in a movie under 2 hours. Either way, uncle Rick’s PJO series is still the bomb! I also recommend the Heroes of Olympus series, which is the continuation of Percy’s story but with a mix of Roman myth. Surely no regrets with this one, guys!😊

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Red Queen Book Review

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is one of the dystopian novels that I absolutely fell inlove with at first sight. Idk about you guys but I really really really like dystopia. The plot is somewhat similar to Kiera Cass’ The Selection but with a twist of fantasy and rebellion. I highly recommend this book to those who love dystopia. I assure you that it’s all worth it.
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Six of Crows Book Review

After completing the Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo is yet again to thrill us with a new duology, the first installment being Six of Crows. In the story, a band of criminals is sent to complete an impossible heist, if they don’t kill each other first, that is. One of the things I liked about this one is the way Leigh made each of the six characters with equal importance and exposure. Another is Kaz Brekker’s superb intellect. The only thing that I can say is that, I DEFINITELY DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING! The ending will definitely leave you desperate for the second book, Crooked Kingdom, where more near-death experiences will come.

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The Assassin’s Curse Book Review

The Assassin’s Curse, the first installment in the Hannana Duology is undoubtedly a book to boot! From the gorgeous book cover, this book definitely is more than meets the eye. Who would’ve thought an assassin and a pirate would be a perfect match? Nevertheless, Cassandra Rose Clark made that happen. Hands down to you and your masterpiece, Ma’äm! I definitely recommend this to those who are looking for a great blend of  mysteries, adventures, danger and romance from the beginning up until the end. It would have you turning the pages and leave you craving for more.

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