Bishr Yazagi has an admittedly tough
job. He's Syria's minister of tourism, responsible for drumming up interest in
popular attractions like the ancient city of Aleppo -- even as war rages all
Now, he's facing another challenge --- he's one of twelve Syrian
government ministers the European Union has imposed sanctions on, accusing the
group of "serious human rights violations." The sanctions mean they'll have
their assets frozen and they won't be allowed to travel.
Yazagi says he's
not worried, adding that the timing is suspect.
SOUNDBITE: Syrian Minister
Of Tourism, Bishr Yazagi speaking (Arabic):
"I think they won't be an
obstacle to us performing our duties. The EU had a goal with these sanctions,
especially in imposing them now- after the victory we achieved in the
presidential elections. They're probably a desperate attempt to increase the
He's also more determined then ever to continue working to
preserve Aleppo's history.
SOUNDBITE: Syrian Minister Of Tourism, Bishr
Yazagi speaking (Arabic):
"They talk about humanitarianism and impose
sanctions using the excuse of human rights violations. We want to see their
humanity in Aleppo and in their defense of humanitarian civilization
heritage in Aleppo."
Much of the city is in rebel hands and many
who live beyond the historic city--- are facing water and food shortages since
the government began restricting supply deliveries.
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