Astronomical observatory in Syria built with local expertise

STORY: Despite numerous hurdles, the Syrian Astronomical

Association has a new observatory

Location: Damascus, Syria

(Mohammad Al-Asiri, Head of the Syrian Astronomical Association)

"We built the whole dome with Syrian hands. We built the base of the telescope with its engines with Syrian hands, and we only brought the main mirror, its protector, and its technology from abroad. We were able to divide the telescope into several parts in order to move it easily and reduce the burden of shipping it."

The society has numerous small telescopes

but needed a large one that offered more detail and clarity

It took a full year to complete the project

The association has had financial strains

since conflicts in the country began

(Turkiyah Jbour, Board of Directors member, Syrian Astronomical Association)

"Of course, the crisis, the war and the economic situation affected not only the association but all sectors within the society because those who used to support us with funding are not capable of doing so anymore because their profits decreased.”