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Friday, April 29

Al-Hijaz railway

A train outside the station
Just a train
A vehicle used for repairing
Sultan Adulhamid's wagon from the inside (I wonder about the plastic chairs!)
Inside the station
The Hijaz Railway was originally built to transport pilgrims from the city of Damascus in Syria to the holy city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia. It was completed at the time of Sultan Adullhamid in 1908, but was severely damaged during the First World War (1914-1918) by Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab Revolt. Parts of the Hijaz Railway exist, and some of the sections are still functioning. The minute you step past the main gate of Hijaz Station here in Damascus, you feel that you are in a time fame cut from another era, you are in preserved atmosphere from days gone, different colours of rust, iron, and the air smells Ottoman or East European.

PS. Some of these photos are taken 2 years ago. Unfortunatly, you can not find them now.


Sunday, April 24


Neadless to say Shawrma. Yum...Yum.


Thursday, April 21

Education For All

Al- Fayha' School in Al-Salihia Street
Since 1967 all Syrian schools, colleges, and universities have been under close government supervision. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education are primarily responsible for all aspects of administration, including curricula development. Schooling is divided into 9 years of compulsory basic education, and 3 years of upper secondary education. General secondary education offers academic courses and prepares students for university entrance; the last 2 years of this stage are divided into literary and scientific streams. Vocational secondary training offers courses in industry, agriculture, commerce, and primary school-teacher training. In 2000, the government announced permission for the establishment of private schools and universities in Syria. As a result, businesses rushed to set-up schools and training programs. Many international and private schools has been opened Since then.
Based on many resourses


Monday, April 18

Bedouins Favourite Musical Instrument

"Arabic Rababah, arab fiddle, the earliest known bowed instrument and the parent of the medieval European rebec. It was first mentioned in the 10th century and was prominent in medieval and later Arab art music. In medieval times the word rabab was also a generic term for any bowed instrument."
Encyclopaedia Britannica
PS. Notice the Arabic coffee behind him, It is a kind that prepared on hot coal.


Saturday, April 16

Sword of God

khaled bin alwaleed mosque2004
one of the most important historical buildings in Homs, Khaled Bin Al-Walid Mosque which is a very beautiful mosque indeed, it was built in the reign of Al-Zahir Bibars and renovated in the early 20th century, towards the end of the Ottoman era. The Bin Al-Walid Mosque was built according to a mixture of Byzantine and Ottoman artistic styles overlaid with Arabian. It contains the mausoleum of Khaled Bin Al-walid. The building is distinguished by its metal shiny dome, Two very tall white-stone minarets lend lightness to the imposing structure and The slender colonnade in black and white stone in horizontal rows is representative of traditional Syrian architecture.


Thursday, April 14

Al- Nouri Bemaristan

Is located to the west of the Umayyad Mosque.It was build by Nour Eddin Al-Zenki in 549. The hospital consisted of many halls, some were for men, some for women, others were for surgery, emergency and a there was a library that contained many medical useful books for the doctors. It has been said that doctors used various ways for treatment in addition to medicines and drugs, like narraters and singers for entertaining, and expert cooks who supplied each patient with suitable food. The hospital was turned into a school for females in 1317 after moving to a new place near Al-Tekkeyah Soulaimaneh (Al-Hamidi Hospital). Now, it is used as a museum for Arab medicine and science. It is characterized by the beauty of its architecture, the wide courtyard and unique engravings on its door.


Monday, April 11

Nature Call

While I was taking this picture, many people stopped me telling me “This a toilet” or “ You are photographing a WC”. “Yes I know” I’ve answered them. Two years ago these toilets didn’t exist here at all, even after putting them for a while many people didn’t got the usage of these small rooms! Anyway, it seems that it became a common at last. while Syrians prefer to go to a nearby mosque and use its toilet for free, Tourists are more accustomed for it than them, it’ll only cost 5 S.P, but at least it is CLEAN!!!


Saturday, April 9

Zarzar Lake

Zaraza Lake about 35km away from Damascus is the only dam in the basin of Barada and Al-Awaj River, which is filled annually. Many Damascene come hear on Fridays for picnic (Sairaan).


Sunday, April 3

Tanour Bread

One of the most beautiful songs ever written Oummi (“My Mother”), the lyrics of the song are based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, and for sure Marcel Khalifeh a great gifted composer and singer performs this great song, although it is believed that the song is dedicated to Palestine, there is no obvious reference to it in the verse, but I think that “my mother” refers to anyone homeland not specifically to Palestine, it could be anywhere and any country.
I yearn for my mother's bread
and my mother's coffee
and my mother's touch
and childhood grows within me
day upon breast of day,
and I love my life
because if I died
I'd be ashamed of my mother's tears...
Aaaaah of my mother's tears.

As a veil for your eye brows
and cover my bones with grass
that has been baptized in the
purity of your heel
And tie me to you
with a lock of hair
with a thread that trails
in the train of your dress.
May be I'd become a god,
a god I'd become
if I touched the depths of your heart

Mother... mother.. Mother...
Put me, if I didn't return,
as firewood in your stove,
as a clothesline on your rooftop,
for I have lost resolve
without your prayer, your daily prayer.
Aaaaaaah.... Aaaaaah...

I have grown old
so bring me back the stars of childhood,
that I may share with the young birds
the road of return
to the nest of your waiting.

Mother... Mother... Mother...

To hear this song and many other songs of him Click here.


Friday, April 1

Do Not Leave Me

My house says to me, "Do not leave me, for here dwells your past."
And the road says to me, "Come and follow me, for I am your future."
And I say to both my house and the road, "I have no past, nor have I a future. If I stay here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go there is a staying in my going. Only love and death will change all things."

"Sand and Foam" by Gibran Khalil Gibran