This Site

Launched in 2004, Syrian History aims to document Syria’s history in photos and audiovisuals. It is the largest gallery of Syrian History.

Based in Damascus, Syria.


Sami Moubayed

General Manager:
Sahban Abd Rabbo

Social Media Manager:
Abeer Jamal

Message from the Founders

Seven years ago, we raised a motto that said we are the “first” online museum in Syria. Today we re-brand ourselves as the “first, and only” such museum in Syria.

The idea for this website came to mind on a cold winter afternoon in early 2004, while I was at al-Rawda Cafe in the heart of Damascus, sipping tea with my good friend and colleague, Sahban Abd Rabbo.

Sahban and I go a long way back, having met during our high school years and gone into careers that although different, sometimes overlapped; I was a writer and historian while he was a pioneer webmaster in Syria. From one topic to another, we began observing the majestic Syrian Parliament that was located across the street from al-Rawda. The coffeehouse we were in was 65-years old, while Parliament was celebrating its 72nd birthday. That grand building has silently observed everything that occurred in our republic’s history since 1932, surviving a French onslaught in 1945, loud arguments by our MPs during our five wars with Israel, 19 presidents, 62 prime ministers, and a total of twenty military coups. Sahban and I decided right there and then, to create a website documenting the recent history of Syria, from 1900 to 2000. The logic was simple and fairly straightforward: nobody had done it before. I had a large private photo archive in Syria while he had the technical expertise to make it happen.

At the time of writing seven years down the road, Syrianhistory.com has become a household name in Syria. It is frequented often by the young and old and is immensely popular among expatriate Syrians. The website has received memorable coverage in popular Arabic dailies like al-Ahram, Syria-focused blogs like Syriacomment, and landed first page news in the mass circulation London-based al-Hayat. SyriaComment’s Joshua Landis called it a “labor of love” while al-Hayat’s Ibrahim Hamidi described it as “virtual encounter between President Shukri al-Quwatli and President Hafez al-Assad.”

In 2010, Syrian entrepreneur Abdulsalam Haykal bought shares in our online museum, making it a member of Haykal Media Group. Hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder, the three partners, Sahban, Abdulsalam, and I continue to provide a “labor of love” to the proud and rich history of modern Syria. We are now re-launching with a massive collection with new exclusive photos, a larger audiovisual library, a more advanced and user friendly interface, and a version of the website in Arabic.

We won’t take up too much of your time. Part of our mission is to tell stories with pictures, not with words. We leave you to browse through our website and turn pages in the life of a nation that made us who we are today.

Sami Moubayed

Editor-in-Chief and Founder

April 17, 2011

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