The Metamorphosis of Damascus, 2010

Something I wrote about an experience in Damascus, in Novermber 2010…

Experiencing Syria in the height of its summer this year was illuminating in more ways than usual. Only a year ago, walking through Hammadiya market, down Straight Street, towards Bab Sharqi, we experienced history, tradition, art, religion and a feeling of openness and freedom. This summer, I experienced something much more. In less than a year Old Damascus had been transformed, with a dynamic engagement of local and foreign, traditional and modern. People gathered, almost nightly, in the ‘mushroom park’, Syrians, French, Italian, American, British, Lebanese, Russian, and the list goes on. Jazz concerts, rock bands all converged in this tiny park to experience something fresh and unique. Alcohol bought from the corner shop, Lebanese beer the preferred beverage of most. Conversing, language barriers seamlessly irrelevant, politics, gossip, dreams and aspirations being shared, being experienced. A city metamorphosing before our eyes, uniquely, naturally, emerging, at the hands of the people, who desire to be free. This park, this tiny mushroom park, is from where I see the nurturing of a Syrian civil society, uncontrollable, unstoppable.

Tragically, we are faced with something far different today, and yet one thing remains the same, the people’s desire for freedom and their willingness to risk and sacrifice everything for its fulfilment, one day.


~ by Tamara Al-Om on October 9, 2012.

One Response to “The Metamorphosis of Damascus, 2010”

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