Wednesday, July 8, 2020
… any attempt to force cultures and peoples into separate and distinct breeds or essences exposes not only the misrepresentations and falsifications that ensue, but also the way in which understanding is complicit with the power to produce such things as the “Orient” or the “West”.’ - Edward W. Said (Orientalism, p. 348, 1995 Penguin edition) The following article appeared in...
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This video interview with Professor Maamoun Abdulkarim took place in a Damascus cafe on 22 September 2019. It wasn't the best environment to discuss a serious subject, and I had no external microphone for my mobile phone, but we made do. Susan Dirgham (For a transcript of the interview, please go to the bottom of this page.*)    During the worst years of...
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In this second part of the interview with Damascus University professor Maamoun Abdulkarim, Professor Maamoun speaks about Syria's 'mosaic', exemplified by his own family. The interview was conducted in a Damascus cafe on 22 September 2019. When he was director general of antiquities and museums during the worst years of the war in Syria, Professor Maamoun believes his innate understanding...
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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...
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  '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...
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...
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Video, September 2019. Susan Dirgham. On the way to Beit Jabri.   In the introduction to her book 'Damascus: Hidden Treasures of the Old City' (Thames & Hudson, 2001), Brigid Keenan begins, My husband, a diplomat, was posted to Syria in 1993, and I went with him. Very soon, like Isabel, wife of the famous British Consul Richard Burton a hundred and...
Written by Chris Ray and first published in Atlas Obscura, Dec 10, 2019 BY CHRIS RAY DECEMBER 10, 2019 On a bright spring day in April 2013, the minaret of one of the world’s most famous mosques came crashing to earth in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The sound was heard across the Old Quarter, even over the din of artillery...