Blogs from Damascus, South, Syria, Middle East


Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus August 17th 2015

One of the journeys that marked my life was a 2004 three week holiday to the Middle East. It was my first time outside of Europe, and it turned out to be an amazing journey full of adventures. The fact that most places I visited do not exist anymore, makes me value my experience even more. Today Syria is facing one of its most difficult times, and perhaps this story can give some insight into the background of the current conflict. The day I entered Syria I noticed its distinct vibe. I did expect it to be culturally different from the places I had visited before, but not to such an extent. The border post, a large concrete building, was crowded with people without no order whatsoever, you literally had to fight your way to get ... read more
Church of Saint Simeon Stylites
Citadel of Aleppo
Citadel of Aleppo

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus March 10th 2012

El parque Tisherin se llama así por la guerra que tuvo lugar en octobre de 1973 contra Israel todos los viernes y sábados voy a pasear por la mañana, las fotos son de hoy entre las 11 y las 12:30h. TURKÇE: Ekin 1973 Süriye Israel yle savas yaptilar, her cuma cumartesi dolasmaya gdierin, resimlr bu sabah 11-12:30 yaptim. ENGLISH: In 1973 there was a war between Israel and Syria, I go to this park on fridays and saturdays, I took the pictures today between 11 and 12:30h.... read more

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus February 9th 2012

Una visita al bazar, Burdaki kapali çarsi kisa bir gezisi, A small trip to this souq.... read more

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus November 21st 2011

Un paseo por el barrio antiguo de la ciudad... read more
San Juan Bautista

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus October 20th 2011

Restos del pasado romano en la parte vieja de Damasco Roma dönemin kalma eserleri eski Sams... read more
Bab Tuma, Saint Thomas gate, Puerta de Santo Tomás
Murallas, Surlar
Bab al Salam, Puerta de la Paz

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus August 24th 2011

I came to Syria at a time of uncertainty, a time when most people and analysts around the world were unsure of what was happening. There was a moment in late May where I had to decide for myself whether I should continue with my plans to visit Syria. I could have taken a job on campus, lived with friends, and had an easy summer. There is no doubt that I would have loved to have done that! But there was something unsettling about the whole idea- it felt like I was turning away from what was important to me in exchange for the assurance of security. And I thought, since when had anything I had ever done went without risk? 2012 is an election year, and I want to be in Chicago for it. ... read more

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus August 12th 2011

Shame on me for waiting this long to write about such an important topic. The cuisine in Syria is absolutely delicious as it is diverse and satisfying. One of the best ways to get a taste (literally) of Arab culture is through its food. The food holds a deep representation of the traditions, history, and culture of Arab society. It borrows and shares its flavors with the Greeks, Turks, North Africans, and dare I say, Romans, because after centuries of conquest and civilization, food from around the Mediterranean hold similar flavors and bases. The flavor around Syrian cuisine is based off olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. The staples in every lunch table are grains like bulghar wheat, rice, and bread. A typical meal will consist of salad, beef or chicken, and some “focal point” (or ... read more

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus July 5th 2011 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 » South » Damascus April 12th 2011

Hey all, We were up early (but not too early) on Saturday to enjoy our only day as a group in Damascus, as myself and Jason would be departing the trip the next day. We were taxied in near the old town, and Graham gave us a quick tour of all the important sites, including Syria’s best ice-cream shop! The souq in the old city was amazing, long winding streets lined with tall shops displaying everything from wedding dresses and sweets to brooms and antiques, covered with roofing and housing a bustling atmosphere. We were left to our own devices in the old city so Missy, Holly, JC, Emma and I dandered through the souqs before going to the Umayyad Mosque, an incredibly beautiful and historic mosque. We (women) robed up and took ourselves on a ... read more
Roman ruins at the end of the souq
Damascene ice cream
Umayyad Mosque

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