I just found out that the minaret of the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo has been destroyed.
I’m so, so sad. Of course this doesn’t compare to the tens of thousands of lives lost, or to the importance of getting rid of the Asad family; people should always be protected before buildings, objects, stones. But that minaret has been there for almost a thousand years, and I remember this mosque, I remember it being a place that filled me with a sense of peace. I’m not a Muslim, and I don’t pretend to know how a Muslim—especially one who’s spent time in this particular mosque—might feel at hearing that an essential part of it has been destroyed. I don’t pretend to share that particular set of emotions, nor am I trying to say that I feel just the same. All I mean is that I’ve been to a fair number of mosques in my time, and this is the one that I imprinted on, so to speak, as the perfect version of that open, quiet, lively, peaceful space. And it’s painful to hear that it’s been so deeply damaged.