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Entries from October 2008

Live blogging Amman

October 18th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Live from a streetside cafe in Abdoun, Amman. I'm jealous that you have so many more Americans – students, workers, businesses. Not because I particularly like them. Just because it feels like they are restricting themselves – scared of something they don't need to be.

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Seatbelts – Syrian style

October 16th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Seatbelts have always been a bit of a novelty in Syria.   All new cars are fitted with them, but they go unused. Sitting, untouched, by the door.   But that is slowly changing. For years, it has been illegal to drive – or sit in the front passenger seat – without wearing a seatbelt. But the […]

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Deadly bus crash in Damascus

October 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

A bus has crashed on the South Bypass Road in Damascus – two people have died.   Another eight are injured – three seriously.   It happened yesterday, during the rain storm. Unusually, the bad weather – and not excessive speed – is being blamed.   The forty seater vehicle careered off a bridge on the […]

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Here comes the winter

October 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Only in Syria would a heatwave signal the coming of winter.   It has been getting hotter and hotter over the past couple of days. It's now at uncomfortable levels of sweat – we're way into the thirties celcius. It's been accompanied by cloudier skies.   And today it broke. There was a huge rain […]

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Lebanon and Syria normalise relations

October 15th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The Lebanese and Syrian Foreign Ministers have finally signed an agreement to recognise and respect each other's sovereignty and independence.   The two men have met in Damascus. It opens the way for the formal demarcation of the border and opening of embassies. They are two of the French and American demands hanging over Syria.

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More replies to comments

October 15th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Yazan – another Mac user! No, I'm too stubborn to give up my MacBook.I hate PCs. Although I am grudgingly using them. Do you know where theMac shop is? I've heard Mezzeh? Sharks – yes, the yellow does look very good! Not sure about pinkthough! Are you in Damascus? Amniyah – thanks, I know about […]

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Meeting the President

October 13th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Eight o'clock. Damascus. The National Orchestra was about to perform at the Opera House. The audience were taking their seats – and then there was a growing whisper coming from the right hand side. The whisper grew to a chatter. Down the steps walked a tall man in a grey suit, next to a blonde […]

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Replies to comments

October 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

I'm still having problems getting into my own comments, so this will have to do for now. Anonymous – what are foreign students telling their families back home, about life in Syria? My problem is not with foreigners in Damascus – far from it. Damascus has a long history of welcoming immigrants. My problem is […]

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Damascus in Yellow

October 12th, 2008 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Does EVERY girl in this city have to be dressed in yellow? Girls in hijab, with long tight yellow t-shirts. Girls with big hairin yellow blouses. Girls with blue jeans in – you guessed it – yellowtops. Some have black writing, some kind of image, or even a tacticallyplaced butterfly. But they're all the same […]

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Colonisation – update

October 12th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I've just been into a cafe in Kasaa (next to Bab Touma), I said oneword, and I was greeted with 'Hello, welcome'. (Reply to Matt's comment – no, it's Syrian shopkeepers greeting methis way! I'm having trouble replying to comments in the normal way atthe moment.)

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