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Cultural Tourism




 What is the destiny of Amrit company for investment and tourism?


The popular proverb says: give me your hand and the answer is the one who gets hit by a stick, is not like the one whos counting them!

This proverb summarizes the suffering of shareholders in Amrit Company for investment and tourism. Which have already demanded in a letter to the respectable minister of tourism, dated on 25/1/2004. and they demand once again ,to find a solution for the mentioned company above, which has been  founded  since 1989,and it has almost 1000 of small contributors.

 The money of these contributors is frozen and their affairs are paralyzed, nevertheless they did not stop hoping. How life shall be without a little hope?!

An interview with the respectable minister of tourism, which was broadcasted recently about the reality of tourism in Syria, made them feel the same old sadness and made them wonder:

it is high time for this project, that the ministry of tourism is considered a primary partner in, to be started in reality?? Or time has come for dissolving the company and settling its affairs, and giving those patient contributors their rights!

The small contributers and I do not think the big ones have another opinion, are asking the respectable minister to do his best he can, and to discuss with other executives, whom are involved in this, to find the best solutions. They confirm that the resurrection of this project Will be a lighting point in the history of Syrian tourism. However, the continuation of the non-normal situation increases the suffering of the shareholders and will cause them stress, thus it will be a bleeding wound in the body of our economical tourism, and will hit the pockets of the patient contributors.

Dr.Abdul karim Abdul samad


(The following explanations and pictures are not parts of the original text):

 In the time that Amrit is witnessing a remarkable activity to bring life back to it we denounce this article which was written by the respectable journalist Abdul karim  Abdul samad.

 The project he was talking about is being postponed many years ago ((almost 17)), and this project is considered one of the most horrible abuses, which Amrit has suffered according to the International organization for protecting the cultural heritage UNESCO.

Amrit which witnesses today attempt to enter its name into touristic corporation projects, despite the decision of the Ministry of tourism to register it as an archeological site.

 From the UNESCO report, which was written about three years ago as a response of the efforts of the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums in Syria, in an attempt to register Amrit on the list of100 most endangered sites in the world, we translated the following part:

 On the beach with an extent of 200-300 meters into the mainland, there was a large area which was fenced since almost 15 years ago; a construction of a large touristic complex was started, covering a space of 15 Hectares at least. (The length of this site is about 600 meters and its width is about 200-300 meters, it belongs to the ministry of tourism)

We got into this complex, where the project was stopped because of lack of financing , and we found out that more than half of the site was drifted by bulldozers . the drifting (that happened in the beginning of 90s) destroyed the city of the port from different periods of settling since Phoenicians until Romans.

Only few ruins of the city have been left to the north of the complex in a space of 2-3 hectares.

The project is still offered on the website of the ministry of Syrian tourism as a possible site to invest.

 The right of using the area must be given immediately to the Directorate general of antiquities and museums, because it is the important link between Amrit and Arwad. The reason of Amrits existence in this place because it is the land site of Arwad.

 The drifting of the port area is a tragic action, unfortunately, it cannot be repaired. Only limited excavations happened in the area. However, it is obvious that huge amounts of scientific information are lost as a result of the action of those bulldozers. Danger comes from the investors' visit to the site from 19/02 to 04/03/2005, and an exhibition of investors will be held in Damascus between 23-25/04/2005. It is worth mentioning that few projects are in the historical sites or near them, amongst them is the Island of Arwad , thats why I think that this is the most serious threat to Amrit historical site end of the quotation.

 According to what is written above, we expected from the journalist to ask the minister of tourism ,to get the hands of the ministry of tourism off the site and allow the archeological authorities to retry saving what was destroyed and try to stop the drifting of the soil where the project is situated .


a small side of the big wall that surrounds the area and the entrance is appearing in the picture

the wide area (notice the wall to the right far from the camera) which was settled and spread out by small stones after removing all the ancient ruins from it ( the pictures are taken from a hill in the same area)


some constructions are built inside the wall, which are delaying working in.

From the same mentioned hill, up in the picture, when looking towards east we find in front of us the archeological spindles (for more pictures about Amrit Ruins check the Album)

 we will show some samples of the  ruins of fenced area of the project:


A channel with a frieze, can be closed with a pottery cover, the existence of the covered channels show how civilized was Amrit City.

A long channel covered by a stony cover.


A portal structure the inhabitants call it ((al khan)), they said that it had a knotted ceiling and big stones, which were cut and sold!

In front of the entrance appears a base of a pillar, sculptured of sandy stones.


The traces of the excavation squares that were made by Muhammad Raeef Haikal.

The Ruins of residential constructions spread in the area.

A thrill invaded me while I was reading the pages of the newspaper, the same newspaper. While I was still disappointed, with thousands of question marks. When I saw the article of Dr.Nadia Khost the fruits of tact and civilization and I felt that a divine care ,is refusing whats happening to Amrit today and it wants to protect it as it did through thousands years to save that unique city with its original Phoenician style until today ,despite the wounds on its body ,and the deepest one is the these touring  miserable projects.

 From the fruits of tact and civilization,I picked the following:

The 20st century which is featured by the movement of people and the variety of the transportation and communication means ,has launched the cultural tourism which explores other identities

  What attracted tourists till today to Syria is that ,it is the cradle of human civilization because it is the first cities of human beings , the first alphabet , the royal archive of Ebla and the stony dead cities

 Cultural tourism requires a specialized study ,that classifies sites, buildings and houses , and estimates their functions as accurate as the goldsmiths accuracy , and puts the suitable tracks for them ,and  determines their sanctity ,which means a protecting atmosphere for them, usually such study avoids dangers and loses which cannot be compensated for. It enforces with the approved measures the crossing of whats called the natural sight and the Archeological one, which doesnt allow the planting of a hotel upon the ancient port of Tartus in the Old city. and prohibits the deforming of al husn castle by a hotel inside it ,or building a hotel between the ruins of Palmyra .allows the tourists to visit the houses of ,AL-Sibai,AL-Quatli,and Nizam and the Palace of Al-athem, but it prohibits them from living there.  we still remember the disjoinment of the touristic building which UNESCO objected against in Palmyra 

 if we complied with this map which classifies sites ,places and buildings with scientific measures ,we would have surrounded the wide project of Cultural tourism , and avoided making it look like the number of beds in a hotel

 The ignorance of the historical and archeological classification, and the ignorance of the used norms of employing, the offering of tens if the Syrian sites for investment companies  ,that we dont know for sure the source of their money. One of those sites is the Phoenician Amrit and historical registered places and houses

 we wish that the touristic project will cross the caring about the number of beds, to surround the essence of the cultural tourism which attracts people to Syria, and to maintain the measures which protect archeological sites exploitation. We wish that the project will create a cultural guide about the places of Syrian civilization, and to suggest cultural projects for the tourists

 Syria is attractive with its civilization, deep-rooted in tasting art and poetry. This requires starting from the beginning of culture.

 today culture can support the touring projects using the measures which keep illiteracy and rudeness away, to protect the fruits of tact and civilization

 At the end, I have to say; blessed are the fruits of tact and culture. and Wish a (hard luck) literally for articles like (whats the destiny of the Amrit company for investment and tourism?)!!

Traslated by: Anas Abbas