In the framework of the International Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), the Republic of Kazakhstan organized in collaboration with UNESCO an International Forum on the “Great Silk Roads” (Almaty,14 -16 October 2013).
Located between the eastern Mediterranean coast and the Euphrates Valley at the crossroads of several trade routes since the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo stands out as one of the key centers along the legendary Silk Roads. Aleppo is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban cities. Its architecture reflects the influences of its successive rulers: Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mameluks and Ottomans.
The Silk Roads call up romantic images in our minds of distant lands and exotic customs, but historically, their practical effect has been to demystify: they have helped to create contacts among far-flung peoples and cultures, and make things that had been distant and exotic less strange. The tales of travelers, and the exchange of goods and ideas, everywhere helped to create awareness of a wider world beyond the local experience.
The Great Silk Road is a system of caravan routes crossing in ancient and middle age time Eurasian continent from Mediterranean Sea to China and influencing the emergence and development of trade and cultural ties between people and statehoods located along the way. The legacy of first transnational contact between people of West and East prove importance of implementing this project aimed at launching open source online web portal dedicated to studies on Silk Road and studies about it.