Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Middle East varia, none good

I'VE BEEN COLLECTING bad-news articles and blog posts on the Middle East for the last couple of weeks. Sadly, they all remain relevant.

War Threatens Palmyra, UNESCO Pleads for Syrian Heritage Protection (Magda Abu-Fadil, Huffington Post). Background on Palmyra and its inscriptions is here and links. More on Palmyra in this war is here and here.

Syria's Rich Archaeological Treasures Imperiled by Civil War (Tia Ghose, Live Science).

Arms for Antiquities: Syrian Artifact Smuggling Bleeds Sites Dry - including Dura Europos (Joanne Bajjaly, Al-Akhbar). Background here and links.

Ma'loula Under Attack (Steve Caruso, The Aramaic Blog). Background on Ma'loula (Maaloula, Malula) is here with many links.

Pictures: Looters Shatter Museum of Ancient Egyptian Treasures (National Geographic).

Egypt demands return of stolen artifacts from Europe and U.S. (Afrik News). For some reason someone decided that this was a good time to re-release this 2009 article.

UPDATE: Accidentally left this one out: Mount Sinai monastery latest victim of Egypt's upheavals. Closure of St Catherine's monastery due to security concerns has devastated tourist trade of nearby town named after it (Patrick Kingsley and Marwa Awad, The Guardian). St. Catherine's Monastery and its manuscripts have been mentioned often at PaleoJudaica, for example, here, here, here, here, and here.