Thursday, October 28, 2021
14 October 2019 Last month, I was in Damascus for just 8 full days. I had a journalist's visa which ensured I had the chance to interview some distinguished Syrians as well as some 'ordinary' Syrians, all of them impressive people, and most of them women.   Most evident was the fact that the war has led to women in Syria finding...
"Each civilized person in the world should admit that he has two home countries: the one he was born in, and Syria." – André Parrot, (1901 – 1980), archaeologist specializing in the ancient Near East; director of The Louvre “Had Syria not assumed pariah status in the eyes of some, the Grand Colonnade of Apamea would be considered among the ‘100...

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...
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Part 2: Tima Kurdi, author of ‘The Boy On The Beach’ (Simon & Schuster, 2018), speaks to Sarah Nachar and Susan Dirgham about: Women in Syria  COVID-19 and Sanctions on Syria  Syria - Our Good-Hearted Mother  Women In Syria Today Tima describes the dramatic changes that have taken place since she grew up in Syria, when women mainly stayed at home...
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  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 Rasha Milhem One lonely night recently, during a particularly hard time of the coronavirus quarantine, a high school friend and I reviewed our lives and recalled the 2000s with some nostalgia.  We are millennials, born in the early 1980s, when Israel invaded and occupied parts of Lebanon and conflict between the state and the Muslim Brotherhood Movement threatened to destabilise...
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...
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...

Six weeks in Syria

Born and raised in Australia, Leo (Soltan) Alhalabi identifies both as a proud Aussie and a proud Syrian. On visits to Syria, he has noted the love and support people show each other in moments of celebration and crisis. Most of Leo’s extended family still lives in Syria. Leo is CEO of LGT Tutoring and is a former Victorian, Australian...