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The city I love

February 22nd, 2007 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Which city do I love the most in the world? Not a hard choice, but I came to thinking about why I love Damascus so much. It can’t be put into an oversimplistic list of tangible reasons, but I’ve tried anyway.

Reasons I love Damascus, in no particular order:

1 – Jebl Qassioun … the mountain that rises up above the north of the city (it IS the north of the city), you can see it from almost anywhere in the city, it’s like Damascus’s comfort blanket, it smiles at sunset, hugs you when it rains, and has a sparkle in its eyes as the rest of the city sleeps

2 – the people … in what other city will a taxi driver refuse to charge you for the ride, simply because you’re upset after spilling juice down your top

3 – the serveece … life, compressed. (A serveece is a minibus, for the non-Damascenes reading this)

4 – the language … no, not Arabic, Shami. (Specifically, the (very) elongated syllable at the end of a sentence, and the phrase ‘yateek al afiyah’)

5 – the Old City … a world away from the rest of Damascus, it is the oldest continuously inhabited place in the world, and a UN World heritage Site, step into the city walls, and you have left Damascus, and entered a world of dreams.

6 – Umayyid Mosque … one of the most beautiful Islamic buildings in the world, men and women pray next to each other, and still a place of pilgrimage for Christians too (the head of John the Baptist has been preserved inside the main prayer room)

7 – food … allepine food in damascus

8 – sweets … kanafee, ice cream, and the taco chocolate bar

9 – drinks … what would like be without Abu Shakr, thank you for making Damascus fruit juicy and fruit salad creamy

10 – nightlife … buzzing, fun, but not opressive and overwhelming

11 – foreigners … there’s something special about non-Syrians who choose to live in Damascus, they’re often interesting, open-minded, well travelled people who offer a new insight on to this city

12 – cost … sorry, this is the cheapskate in me, but I prefer an eye-contact making 7 cent serveece ride, to a rude $2 taxi ride in Beirut, or a lets-all-sit-in-uncomfortable-silence $8 tube journey in London

(Just to be fair…I also love London and Rome…here’s why:

Rome – the food, the ice cream, the clothes, the language, the weather, the politics, the pace of life

London – the diversity, the music, the shopping, the language, SOAS, the tube)

I tag Arima, Razan, George, the Angry Anarchist.


3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Feb 22, 2007 at 9.23 pm

    you are right, damascus is a great place.. it would be better, MUCH better without all those muslims and iraqis.. they are making it ugly.. (i’m not jewish, not christian) LOVE SHAM!

  • 2 Syria Almighty // Feb 23, 2007 at 1.33 am

    Yes, anonymous, you are not Jewish, nor Christian, you are garbage.

    In other news…

  • 3 Arima // Feb 23, 2007 at 11.45 am

    thanks for the tag sasa :)

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