Tokyo, SANA- On commemoration of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Syrian archaeologist and head of antiquities at the ancient city of Palmyra, Khaled al-Asaad, who was publicly beheaded by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists on 18 August, 2015, the Syrian Embassy in Tokyo held a cultural event by screening “the Blood of Palm” movie, for director Najdat Anzour.
A symposium was held following the screening of the film in which the participants highlighted the archeological and historical importance of the city of Palmyra. The participants also shed the light on the bulk of the damage affected many archaeological monuments as a result of destroying them by Daesh terrorists, in addition to the illegal excavation works, and plundering the archeological sites.
The symposium also highlighted the impacts of the earthquake that struck the country in February 6 on the archeological sites.
Before the war, the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums was working with several archaeological missions, including the Japanese mission in Palmyra, headed by professor Kiyohide Saito and many other missions that contributed to the restoration of many archaeological sites and monuments.
In turn, Prof. Saito talked about his personal experience as a member of the Japanese archaeological missions to Palmyra, who worked in the Palmyra cemetery area, stressing that was deeply influenced by the screening of the movie, as he worked with the late archeologist.
Chargé d’Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Tokyo, Muhammad Najib Elji, indicated that the screening of the film and the symposium contributed to introducing Japanese citizens and archaeologists in Japan to the extent of the destruction caused by Daesh terrorist organization and its practices in the city of Palmyra, which reflects their and their partners in Jabhat al-Nusra’s criminal mentality since the beginning of the terrorist war against Syria in 2011.
Syrian archaeologist and head of antiquities at the ancient city of Palmyra, Khaled al-Asaad, was publicly beheaded by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists on 18 August, 2015, at the age of 83.
He was one of the remarkable scholars and archaeologists who spent more than fifty years of his life in serving the antiquities of his beloved Palmyra.
Al-Asaad, the winner of the Syrian Order of Civil Merit, and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, was born in Palmyra city in 1934. He was graduated from Damascus University in 1956. He held a diploma in history.
He was appointed as head of the excavation department at the Directorate-General of Antiquities & Museums, (DGAM) in 1961, then he was appointed as Director of Palmyra antiquities and museums, secretary general of Palmyra museum since 1963 till 2003. He played an efficient role in the excavation and restoration works in Palmyra in coordination with Syrian, Polish, German, French and US archaeological missions.
Fedaa al-Rhayiah / Hala Zain