04:47 GMT08 March 2021
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    For the first time in years Aleppo has welcomed tourists. A comprehensive tour was organized in one of the most ancient cities in the world by local tour agencies. More than 300 schoolchildren, students and pensioners from different parts of Syria came to look at the Umayyad mosque, the Citadel and the amphitheater.

    “On the way to the old part of the city, food joints and souvenir shops have opened for business. Currently the applications for excursions are arriving via domestic tourism,” travel agency owner Samer Al-Shayah said.

    He recalled that before the war there were more than seven million tourists visiting Aleppo annually.

    However, war and all the battles against the terrorists damaged the architecture of the old city.

    In particular, the Umayyad mosque built in the 8th century A.D. was affected when the retreating terrorists blew up its southern wall, smashed the columns and destroyed its 147- feet minaret.

    The artifacts of the Aleppo Citadel, mentioned in the X century AD, remained in the city due to the fact that its modern garrison managed to resist numerous attacks by the militants.

    For the group of tourists who visited Aleppo the tour ended with a musical performance in the ancient amphitheater.

    The organizers of the first excursion tour in the city since 2012 said that all the hotels will be restored in the shortest possible time. They hope to resume the flow of tourists from abroad, including from Russia.

    A few days ago it was reported that more than 15,000 out of 60,000 small businesses, which had operated in the Syrian province of Aleppo before the outbreak of hostilities, have now resumed work, Chairman of the Federation of the Syrian Chamber of Industry Fares Shahabi said Monday.

    "The authorities are trying either to subsidize small business, or to provide interest-free loans to the entrepreneurs. As a result, over 15,000 small businesses are currently operating in the province, starting from scratch," Shahabi told reporters.

    In recent months, the Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, succeeded in liberating a number of territories in Aleppo occupied by militants, including from Daesh which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia and the United States.

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    liberation, terrorism, architecture, tourists, Aleppo, Syria
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