In the old section of Antakya, the pathways and byways are convoluted, narrow and, at times, rather Byzantine. Many are impassible by any form of motorised transport.
And so the question arises: “How does the city council provide the basic services necessary in the 21st century?”
The solution is found inthe time honoured, tried and tested method of accessing and servicing these areas – let me introduce you to the city council donkey.
These determined, strong and dour creatures can navigate the narrow ways, and when you come to the houses pearched on the mountainside, they can climb the rough stairs and can reach all the properties situated there.
Of course you do not send out the donkey on its own, it is accompanied by and lead by the Council ‘donkeyman’. Maybe that is not his title, but it does describe what he does.
Teams of men and their donkeys go out every night, collecting the trash and detritus of life set out in front of the dwellings in this, the old quarter of the city.
The rest of the city is serviced by your typical rubbish lorries – but here, in the old city, the new has had to give way to the old.
The technology of yesterday is helping to maintain the standards of today.