Page 4 of Yasmeena Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Syria July 6th 2011

Arabs are notorious for their traditions, their generosity towards guests, and their hospitality. In Arab society, guests are always treated with honor and respect. It is no wonder that people who visit countries like Syria fall in love with the people and never want to leave. Vacationing in the Arab world is being treated like gold. Last week, my family and I had dinner with Congressman Kucinich of Ohio. This was his third trip to Syria since 2006, and he was on a “fact-finding” mission. I sat next to his lovely wife, Elizabeth, and we chatted about the States and Arab society. She said with sincerity that she and Dennis loved to visit Syria. When I asked her why, the answer was clear: the food, the culture, and the hospitality. They are treated with upmost respect ... read more

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus June 30th 2011

Yasmine, the national flower of Syria I was walking by my childhood home the other day when I came across an old but familiar fragrance. I looked up, and sure enough, the Yasmine shrub that produced vines of flowers for years still remained. Despite the marked differences in our yard and apartment flat, the Yasmine bush has remained, symbolic of the societal changes and constants in Syria. The last time I traveled to Syria about three years ago, the city was full of tourists. People from the Gulf, Iran, and Eastern Europe flooded the streets of Damascus. What’s more, due to the war in Iraq, many refugees were also living in Syria at that time. I was overwhelmed at the crowded streets and felt like a stranger amongst so many different people. But now, amidst all ... read more

Middle East » Syria June 22nd 2011

Yesterday there was the masira, and although I want to make this blog as apolitical as possible, I must comment on the event and its impact on Syrian society. To the best of my understanding, there was a call for all of Syria to orchestrate supportive rallies across the country from Aleppo in the North, to Homs in the center of the country, to right here in Damascus. Thousands to millions of people throughout the country turned out to throw their support behind Bashar al- Assad, the president. These “Syria is Awesome!” rallies were full of young people, professionals, middle class citizens, minorities, women, and students. Despite the economic and social diversity of the crowd, everyone had one thing in common- their patriotism towards the country and its leader Bashar al Assad. These rallies came a ... read more

Middle East » Syria June 16th 2011

Ahlan ya istidikai, I now find myself in the warm bustling streets of Damascus. It was a long journey from Chicago, but I returned to an old a familiar place. For the next ten weeks, I will be studying Arabic, visiting family, making friends, eating, exploring, writing, and eating some more. I have returned to a childhood home. I was last in Damascus for a brief visit in 2008. I was astonished at how quickly the city modernized. Malls sprang up like flowers, and real estate, cars, apparel and jewelry became extremely expensive. New laws were put into place, and everything became so much livelier. There is no doubt that Damascus is a city that is plunging itself into the 21st Century. I have returned to Syria for a number of reasons. After entering college, I ... read more

Tot: 2.475s; Tpl: 0.031s; cc: 6; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0398s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.3mb