The Land and Culture Organization has held campaigns in the Kessab region since 1986. One of the few remnant picturesque Armenian villages left of Cilician Armenia, located just outside the present day boundaries of Turkey. Kessab borders the Mediterranean Sea and is one valley away from the famous Musa Dagh. The city of Kessab swells in the summer season.
According to Syrian law, the government could repossess uncultivated land. Armenian lands were in jeopardy and LCO began to cultivate the area for safekeeping. In addition, Armenians continued to inhabitant ancient Armenian land. LCO perceived the Armenian identity in Kessab being vulnerable and sought to preserve whatever Armenian structures it could.
LCO has worked primarily in the city of Kessab and its surrounding village of Kaladouran. The objective is on maintaining the Armenian architectural integrity. The following projects were the focus of our campaigns.
- Between 1986- 2006: LCO restoration of the traditional Armenian dwellings called the Ashkarian House and the Bedrossian House in Kessab, and the Baboudjian House in Kaladouran.
- Between 1991-1992: LCO undertook the construction of an ethnographical museum in Kessab supported in part by the Gulbenkian Foundation.
- Between 1986-1990: LCO completed an agricultural program in Kaladouran including the planting of fruit trees, vegetables, and irrigation system.
- Between 1985-1988: LCO restored the Sourp Stepanos Church in the Kaladouran to serve the community.