Syria is a truly ancient land. The country’s largest city, Aleppo, is arguably one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with archaeological evidence stretching back more than 7,000 years. It lies at the heart of the Fertile Crescent, the very spot where ancient humans first domesticated crops like wheat, barley, and chickpeas. So it lies at the literal hearth of human bread baking culture—only Egypt lays claim to older baking traditions.
Today, civil war ravages the people and cultural patrimony of Syria. Thousands are dead, tens of thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, ending up in refugee camps in surrounding areas. Still, people need to eat, and bakers continue to make bread. Click here to see The Guardian’s video of one entrepreneur’s bakery, set up in a Jordanian refugee camp.