Saturday, November 28, 2020
video
  Beit Jabri is one of many remarkable family homes in the lanes of old Damascus that have opened their doors to the public: they may have become boutique hotels or more humble abodes for international students or backpackers. Others, like Beit Jabri, have become cafe-restaurants that offer the delights of the Damascene cuisine. Sitting at one of the tables in...
by Susan Dirgham, 25 April 2020 Krak des Chevaliers, 2008 Syrians and Australians  On a crisp winter’s morning in December 2008, a group of La Trobe University students began their tour of Syria with a visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Damascus, where 307 Australian defence personnel from both world wars are buried.   Kurt, an Australian Army officer, who at that time led...
Article by Rasha Milhem 22 April 2020 Above image: Church in Daraa, empty of its congregation for the Orthodox Easter Sunday service because of COVID-19 restrictions. (Ref: SANA, Christian denominations in Syria that follow Eastern calendar celebrate Easter) Only international solidarity and cooperation among States can slow down and eventually defeat the common enemy Professor Dr Alfred de Zayas Syria’s Minister of Health, Nizar...
video
Posted by S. Dirgham, who accepts all responsibility for the technical glitches with the subtitles. Translation of video interview by Rasha Milhem and Sarah Nachar. This page is being posted on 17 April 2020 to celebrate Syria's 'Evacuation Day'. It is an especially significant day because April 2020 marks 100 years since the San Remo conference, a meeting of the prime...
video
This interview with Mahdi Al Mahdi took place on 24 September 2019, my last evening in Damascus before I flew out of Syria on my return trip to Australia.  I just chanced upon the ‘White and Black Quartet’ when I sat outside my hotel to chat with friends. It was a ‘magic moment’ for me.   https://youtu.be/oYcsQFdU9-g Here, 'White and Black Quartet'...
video
  'Beloved Syria - Considering Syrian Perspectives', First Edition, Spring 2016, page 25 The Challenge - Responding to this 21st Century War This magazine aims to present the perspectives of Syrians who have experience of war in their country and who wish Syria to remain united and secular. Few deny that there is a proxy war being fought in Syria. Pope Francis has...
video
In September 2019 on a visit to Damascus, I interviewed Athar, a Syrian woman who has been in her church scout group since she was 15 years old. We chatted in Beit Jabri, a popular restaurant in old Damascus. Athar explained that her scout group meets once a week for band practice and for activities for the children. Also, at their...
    Written by Jack Bettar Spread across fertile mountains, between olive and pistachio groves, and across windswept limestone hills, sits an assortment of ancient ruins, some mysterious, but all precious not just to Syria’s history but to the history of humankind in general. In the Aleppo and Idlib governorates (provinces), there can be found unique and rare insights into life more than...

Ode to Damascus

Written by Chris Ray, this article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Jan 25, 2020 as "Ode to Damascus".   It may seem like an unlikely holiday destination, but as peace returns to Syria, the struggling nation hopes tourists will too. By Chris Ray Tourism in Damascus, Syria Nour Neema at the Sah al-Naum hotel, which...
Written by Alex Ray and first published in Middle East Eye, 26 May 2019 The capital's green spaces symbolise how many are trying to revitalise the environment amid the blood of war. By Alex Ray in Damascus 26 May 2019  Fareed Notafji sips the sweet, strong labourer’s tea as we sit in front of the guard shed at the SEA Environmental Garden in Damascus. When...