Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Dar Al Salam School, a private school in central Damascus, has a co-educational primary school section and a girls high school. Its principal and the majority of its staff are women. I heard from a friend whose niece attended the school that it has a very good reputation. I visited the school on 23 September 2019 to meet Nisreen, or 'Teacher...

Syrian School Episode

Five-part series following a year in the life of four schools in Damascus, a high pressure crossroads in the Middle East. It concentrates on some remarkable characters finding their way in a country that has never before opened ordinary life up to the cameras in this way, challenges the usual cliches of Arab life and charts the highs and lows...
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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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  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 Leslie Hemphill “You are welcome”, or “You are family” were words we heard so often in Syria when we travelled with daughter-in-law Ghada on three visits to stay with her parents and family in Damascus. Ghada was one of six children raised in a little house - really a two-storey apartment.  It was possible to climb out a window onto...
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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...
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...
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...
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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'...
Interview with Lubna, recorded by Susan Dirgham in 2010 Extract: In regard to women’s issues and the equality of the sexes, what are some of the differences of opinion in Syria? You have a whole range of opinions. For example, men are demanding their rights, like to be equal to the women! They are saying, like, women have more rights than...