The Guardian: Rebuilding Aleppo: ‘We cannot preserve the place but we can save our memories’

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BEIRUT, Lebanon – Going to the hammam was once a beloved ritual for Aleppo resident Atef Shikhouni and his friends. Recalling the boisterous, joyful experience, the 55-year-old wrote: “Here is a man shouting, ‘Where is the soap?’ while another one is asking for the shampoo and a third wants someone to rub his back. It becomes very noisy. After spending some time in the sauna, it is time for the ‘rubbing man’. He uses a rough loofah to rub my body mercilessly and I pray it will end without any damage.”

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