“In contemporary urban Syria, debates about the representation, preservation, and restoration of the Old City of Damascus have become part of status competition and identity construction among the city’s elite. In this lively ethnographic study, Salamandra argues that in deploying and debating these concerns, Syrians dispute the past and criticize the present.
"[Written] with a nuanced appreciation of the cultural forms in question and how Damascenes themselves think, talk about, and create them.” —Andrew Shryock”
“. . . [this] book will be required reading for scholars generally interested in sectarian politics in the Middle East and scholars specifically interested in Lebanese Shi'i history and politics because the rich account it offers is also helpful for positioning Shi'i activism in Lebanon since the 1960s.Vol. 39 2007”
— Lara Deeb, University of California, Irvine
“. . . Salamandra's book presents a compelling analysis that sheds light on the socio-spatial relations prevailing in Old Damascus and gives the reader a rare glimpse into the lives of upperclass Syrians. June 2007”
“. . . Recommended.”
“. . . A New Old Damascus is an ambitious attempt to shed light on the complexities of elite Damascenes . . . [I]t remains a noteworthy contribution to the emerging study of globalization, elites, and urbanism in the Middle East. ”
— American Anthropologist