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 a computer file, but he wasn’t sure what.
I had a definite impression this was unusual
There is pretty open access to everything in Syria, I understand, but the authorities apparently take exception to particualr sites from time to time and block them. The social networking site Facebook is currently out in the cold. Internet cafes get round the controls by using a proxy server.
The guy in the shop also said he’d given them his name and that was a problem because he was a soldier.
After all the fuss with the visa I did start to wonder about restrictions. It made me think that’s the really damaging thing, when they get into your head.
Fortunately the Syrian people are so welcoming there’s no possibility to put up barriers. The teenagers I met the other day have just sent a text inviting me to dinner. I can’t go as it’s time to turn around and head back up to Aleppo.