The Founder’s Vision

The project arose out of my lifelong passion for a particular creative atmosphere I discovered years ago in the studios and ateliers of Damascus, an artistic eco-system which I lived and breathed and which produced so many of my favourite artists, many of them friends.

The stables at Aley were a relic from the Civil War, which I found unloved like the walnut tree suffering sadly in the grounds. As a civil engineer, I saw the opportunity to turn the stables into something beautiful and also symbolic: ruined and in trouble but still possessing an inner beauty it was impossible to mistake, and which the right amount of love and energy could revive into something productive and new.

It’s a space of freedom and hope for every young Syrian artist.

Raghad Mardini