Prof. Philip discusses the work of SHIRĪN, an NGO that is bringing together data generated by research groups that had worked in Syria prior to 2011. Its aim is to collate data, currently dispersed across many countries, to help create a Syrian HER.
SHIRIN is an initiative from the global community of scholars active in the field of archaeology, art and history of the Ancient Near East. It brings together a significant proportion of those international research groups that were working in Syria prior to 2011, with the purpose of making their expertise available to wider heritage protection efforts. Accordingly, its International Committee includes the directors of a number of long-term international research programmes, and others who share their strong commitment to the effective protection of the heritage of Syria.
SHIRIN will also collaborate on the creation of a comprehensive database of elements of Syrian heritage. This will provide a basic core of knowledge to which evidence of damage can be added on a case-by-case basis, and will allow the evaluation of the overall pattern and scale of damage resulting from the conflict, as it presents across different regions of Syria and the various classes of monument. It will thus propose a key source of information that can be made available to those involved in heritage protection at a local level, so that they have the necessary knowledge to prioritize heritage protection efforts in a systematic manner.