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Iraq and Syria part 2: Nimrud and Hatra
Nimrud is a 3,000 year old archaeological site blown up by the so-called Islamic State. The Iraqi archaeologist Muzahim Hossein spent 30 years excavating there, and he goes back for the first time to see what remains. And the story of one Iraqi family who grew up with the temples and talismans of the beautiful, fabled city of Hatra. Including contributions from Layla Salih, Nineveh Heritage Buildings; Alessandra Peruzzetto, World Monuments Fund; and Watha Saleh. Presented by Kanishk Tharoor Produced by Maryam Maruf With thanks to Eleanor Robson, Lamia al-Gailani, Ali Juboori, Mehdi Musawi, Faisal Irshaid, Lucinda Dirven and Roberta Venca. Museum of Lost Objects series two is broadcast on BBC World Service. Image: Gorgon head in Hatra Credit: Getty Images
Iraq and Syria part 1: Return to Aleppo
The story of one neighbourhood in Aleppo, and how it changed the lives of two Syrians caught up in the war. Zahed Tajeddin is a sculptor and archaeologist whose family have lived in Aleppo for generations. He owned a beautiful medieval courtyard house in a neighbourhood called Judaydah, part of the city's historic centre. But Zahed was forced to abandon his house in 2012, when Judaydah became a battleground between government forces and rebel fighters. He makes the emotional and dangerous journey to see whether his home survived the conflict. Abu Ahmed is a pharmacist who set up Judaydah's only medical centre. He stayed in Aleppo throughout the conflict, giving first aid, medicines and comfort to the local residents. He was one of the last people to flee rebel-held Aleppo after the government advance in December 2016. Presented by Kanishk Tharoor Produced by Maryam Maruf With thanks to Elyse Semerdjian, Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Mehdi Musawi, and Dr Hatem Museum of Lost Objects series two is broadcast on BBC World Service. Image credit: Zahed Tajeddin
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Looted Sumerian Seal, Baghdad
The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria. This is the oldest and smallest object in the series: a tiny Sumerian cylinder seal depicting a harvest festival. It was carved in 2,600 BC and was part of the collection of ancient cylinder seals which disappeared when the Iraq Museum in Baghdad was looted during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We tell the story of this seal and the pillaging of the country's most important museum. Contributors: Lamia al-Gailani, SOAS; Mazin Safar, son of Iraqi archaeologist Fuad Safar; John Curtis, Iran Heritage Foundation Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor Producer: Maryam Maruf Picture: Sumerian harvest seal Credit: Lamia al-Gailani With thanks to Augusta McMahon of Cambridge University, Mark Altaweel of the Institute of Archaeology UCL, and Sarah Collins of the British Museum.
Armenian Martyr's Memorial, Der Zor
The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria. The Armenian martyr's memorial in Der Zor, Syria was a tribute to the Armenians who perished in the mass killings of 1915. It was consecrated in 1991 and then completely destroyed in 2014 by Islamic militants. A British Armenian writer recalls her visits to Der Zor, and tracing the harrowing journey of her ancestors through the Syrian desert. Contributors: Nouritza Matossian, writer; Heghnar Watenpaugh, University of California Davis Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor Producer: Maryam Maruf Picture: Armenian Martyr's Memorial, Der Zor With thanks to Elyse Semerdjian of Whitman College.