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Aleppo is famous for soap…

22 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

osman s borutecene

Something that happened…

21 Nov 2008 / 1 Comment / in Journeys

I was in the Internet cafe ironing out a wrinkle in my return schedule and there were three middle-aged men in suits there - pretty unusual. After they left the guy at the desk said they were from the Government and had taken the sheets logging customers’ names and the times they were using the computers. They also downloaded […]

Buhib baladak (I love your country)…

21 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

The best advice I’ve had about Damascus is to throw away the map, soak up the atmosphere.  In this way I stumble across an atmospheric bar called the Gallery Cafe.  Inside it’s a mix of shish pipes, trailing ivy and a wooden mezzanine floor. Some Orthodox Christian teenage Syrians ask me to join them.  They […]

Great Umayyad Mosque

21 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

loufi

Mash up

21 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

The huge hole in the centre of Damascus is the courtyard of the Umayyad (Umwiye?) Mosque. A group of Japanese tourists traipses by – dutifully bound up in their Islam-friendly grey robes with pointy hoods handed out to visitors. Three Arab looking girls, about eighteen years old, sail past their grey gowns flapping open in the breeze to reveal […]

Shopping

20 Nov 2008 / 1 Comment / in Journeys

When I wake up in Damascus the first word that comes into my mind is ‘shopping’. Ignoring the map and following the people – as advised – I enter the Old City. The arched roof lets spots of light shine through where bullets pierced the corrugated iron during a 1925 uprising. It’s very relaxed here, […]

Damscus detail

20 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

d jabi

Arriving

19 Nov 2008 / 3 Comments / in Journeys

The train station at Aleppo smells of roses. There are no roses inside but the air is perfumed somehow. It’s very lovely with a wooden ceiling and huge clusters of lamps. I’m gently guided onto the fast train to Damascus. We pass through beautiful desert – not crowded or pretty but a spare beauty. It’s […]