Damascus by day and night: life


While Damascus and environs are being pounded daily by terrorist mortars, and while the people have been enduring a brutal manufactured crisis for years, everyone I’ve met, everyone, just wants Syria to be back as it was. I walk the streets, shop in the souks, talk to cabbies, food vendors, people at celebrations… they all have said the same thing: Damascus 4 years ago was so safe, you could stay out till 5 am and not feel any danger. They’ve all said they want Syria united, they want the “foreign terrorists” out, and including opposition members our Peace Delegation met with, the vast majority (99% of the people I’ve talked to… Christian, Sunni, Shia, without religion…) have said they will vote for Bashar al-Assad in the upcoming elections, for a variety of reasons. The majority I’ve spoken with flat-out love him, others see him as a non-sectarian, unifying force, and the only force to combat the long-planned, imperialist-backed terrorism that plagues certain areas of Syria.

I know that if I were to visit Jobar or Mleeha, a couple of the areas just outside the city from where the mortars that assault Damascus daily originate, I’d hear a different story. But I’d also risk being abducted, be-headed or any number of gruesome fates which I don’t need to test to know where the truth is.

But this post is meant to highlight the beauties of Syria, seen via Damascus, an ancient and cultured and living city whose people are still… living, celebrating, trying to get on with life in spite of mortars and snipers.

Finally, everyone I meet says to me: if you like Syria now, you should have seen it four years ago.  There is life here, and love.

Photos and videos below  

Morning music in Old Damascus

Old Damascus by night

Back lanes, old city Damascus, Apr 2014

Night back lanes and birds, old city Damascus, Apr 2014

Damascus scenes, from taxi, Apr 2014

simple shots from Damascus streets, to give a taste of the flavour of life here, Apr 13, 2014.

pigeons in the square opposite Umayyad mosque. life pulses in this square, in spite of it all, Apr 2014.

just outside the walls of the old city, Damascus, a small botanical oasis, Apr 2014.

April 2014, wedding and birthday party in the hotel where I’m staying. Life goes on in Syria.

April 2014 in Damascus where Christians in the old city celebrated Easter in the many churches and later with large parties in the old city restaurants.

an evening at one of old Damascus’ many churches, in the days leading up to Easter, Apr 2014.

Apr 13, 2014, service with Patriarch Laham, old Damascus.

Umayyad Mosque, Damascus


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