Friday, September 25, 2020
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...
video
In Damascus last September on a journalist's visa, I had the opportunity to interview some truly impressive women in different fields of work. This impromtu chat in a school yard was the most spontaneous and delightful of interviews. The students were thrilled to meet a 'real' journalist and, as it happened, I was thrilled to show off the little bit...
video
This video message to Australian members of parliament (MPs) was recorded in Madam Janset Kazan's office, Damascus, 21 September 2019. Captions were added by Sarah Nachar, and Rana Alkhayrat and Rasha Milhem translated the interview with Madam Janset. In this country, we believe in all religions, so we took the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation from all the religions that...
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...
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
I was in Damascus for just over a week, and in a taxi with Athar and Rana on our way to the old city. First for a stroll in the Souq Al-Hamidiyah and then onto Beit Jabri for a juice and maybe lunch. It's September 2019. Life has its burdens for the locals, no doubt, but they can still smile....
video
In his 1988 LA Times article below, journalist and columnist Charles Wallace captured beautifully Syrians' love for the game of backgammon; the magic of it. (However, in 2020, it should be noted that today if Syrian women don't enter a cafe, it is because they choose not to, not because they dare not.) This game of backgammon in Beit Jabri was...
video
Faia and Rihan Younan were born in the village of Al-Malikiyah, Syria, and grew up in the city of Aleppo. They moved to Sweden with their parents when Faia was 11 years old. Faia studied at Glasgow University and she moved to Beirut when she decided to become a professional singer.  'To Our Countries' has had nearly 7 million views. In August 2015,...