Saturday, July 2, 2022
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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....
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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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In 1992, The Washington Post published a favourable review of Dr Bouthaina Shaaban’s book, ‘Both Right and Left Handed; Arab Women Talk About Their Lives’ (first published in 1988). Dr Bouthaina was born in the 1950s and grew up in a village in countryside Homs. When the Washington Post review was published, she had a PhD in English Literature from...
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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...
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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,...
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 Tima Kurdi, author of ‘The Boy On The Beach’ (Simon & Schuster, 2018), was born and raised in Damascus.    In 1992, she immigrated to Canada but maintained close links with her family in Syria. There were joyful reunions back in Damascus, but in September 2015, a personal tragedy struck the Kurdi family. Tima’s younger brother Abdullah, his wife Rehanna, and their...
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My memories of Bab Tuma, a predominately Christian quarter in old Damascus, go back to my first Christmas in Syria. Like locals, I was rugged up for the winter cold. There were street lights and decorations, and a towering Christmas tree! Father Christmas’s were handing out sweets and one was stopped on a corner, playing the saxophone.  If you search on...
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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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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...