Saturday, May 8, 2021
Over lunch, I interviewed Hana about Fairuz, the Lebanese singer that Syrians across the country listen to in the mornings. Hana's daughter Karla helped translate.
Not to be Ignored Below is a transcript of an interview conducted at the end of 2010, when there was no thought of conflict in Syria, and the issues of the day for educated young women related to their ‘liberation’. The questions chosen were a response to the times since Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali had recently visited Australia, where she...
Editorial - Martin Luther King’s Anti-War Stand In 1967, the United States was embroiled in the war in Vietnam. On 4 April 1967, Martin Luther King delivered an anti-war address at Riverside Church, Upper Manhattan, New York. It was titled 'Beyond Vietnam'. Exactly one year later, he was assassinated. The address was controversial. There was great pressure on Martin Luther King...
video
Rasha Milhem In September 2019, on behalf of ‘Beloved Syria’, I interviewed Ms Rasha Milhem, a Syrian translator, news writer, and filmmaker. Rasha has worked for SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency), the Syrian equivalent of the ABC, since 2009. I found her to be eloquent, deep-thinking and passionate.   Having studied English Literature, Rasha is keenly interested in the arts and...
  Tears for the Souq of Damascus On the road to Damascus I dreamed of the Souk The delicious biscuit, barazeh The over powering smell of maazoot   Souk El Hamadeyeh’s narrow lanes Shoulder rubbing lanes of fabric Copperware, clothing, underwear The silversmiths, surely do reign   Traditional foods and modern cuisine Great fashion and jewellery Syria, home of pure cotton High-rise buildings add to the scene   Mar Yohanna’s historical church Now a mausoleum The ancient...
video
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...
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'...
This recipe is from 'Kan Ya Ma Kan: Folktales and Recipes of Syria and Its Ethnic Groups', by Muna Imady.  It's published by 'Beloved Syria'  with the permission of Muna's mother Elaine Imady. Muna pointed out that the recipe comes from Deir Ez Zor. As explained in the book: The city of Deir ez Zor, like Raqqa, stands on the shores of the...
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...

My Country

My Country - by Nizar Qabbani, - translated by Norma Medawar From the lisp of the blackbird… From the saddening huskiness of the flute… From the flickering sounds of the folk songs From the sighs of the minaret… From a cloud at sunset woven by a chimney and by the wound of the bricks of the decorated and widespread villages… From the whispers of a star settled in our east From a story between a rose and a...