ALEPPO—An influx of hipsters is driving up property prices in this up-and-coming city near the Syrian-Turkish border.
Hipster demand plus the rapidly dwindling supply of move-in ready homes means a two-bedroom fixer-upper on Al Faisal Street now goes for upwards of 1.5 million Syrian pounds ($15,400 USD).
Dana Schwartz, a blogger who moved here with three friends from undergrad, feels the neighborhood has real character. Said Schwartz, “Stop what you’re doing right now and go try the hummus at Omar’s before that place really blows up!”
Asked about her necklace, Schwartz said, “Yeah, I know they’re not big on Jews here or whatever, but I’m pretty sure they get that I’m wearing the Star of David ironically.”
Schwartz and her housemates say Aleppo is totally safe now. Kimi, who asked that only her first name be used because that’s what she goes by, explained, “So long as you keep a rocket launcher in your tote and don’t go out unaccompanied by a male relative it’s really not that bad.”
Dieter, the only male in the group, had to pretend to be the girls’ father for them to sign the lease. He doesn’t mind that so much as the commute, which can get kind of long at times depending on whether it’s the rebels or the regime that controls the international airport.
Another drawback to living in Aleppo is there’s no place in town that sells PBR, although that’s currently a non-issue since they are all are doing juice cleanses.
Asked if the ongoing civil war was at all disruptive, Dieter paused for a moment to dodge an incoming bullet and reshape his moustache.
“I guess the mortar fire can get loud during battles. My advice would be to invest in a good set of noise cancelling headphones.”