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Tuesday, June 28

Modern But...

The Asad Library became the National Library of Syria, replacing al-Zahiriyah Library, it opened in 1984 containing all books and periodicals published in Syria in addition to broad collections in all fields. The library also includes all manuscripts and rare books and periodicals previously held at al-Zahiriyya. The Asad Library has special departments devoted to music, fine arts, film and old periodicals and has reading rooms with reference materials in history, literature and sciences. Complete collections of newspapers, including the contemporary dailies are available. There are facilities for photocopying and microfilming, but copying manuscripts and entire books requires special permission. The library is now used mostly by high school and collage students.

Middle East Studies Association Bulletin

I wont talk about the long time I wasted there just waiting for the books I’ve ordered to get it, or the process of waiting for photocopying few pages which is very time consuming, neither I’ll give my own opinion about it, ( not to be my last post here!), but I’ll highlight two points of view I once read them on Oz’s Blog which I found very convincing.

Catherine: “Look for example at Al-Assad Library, sure it looks modern, but it looks like a big box!!!!Where is the beauty in that? Doesn't the library of Damascus in such a central place deserves to be more Damascene? Beautiful? in an eastern still?"

Ayman: “I do agree with Catherine and her using Al-Assad National Library as an example. The NATIONAL Library of a city that has always been known as a major centre of Arab culture should have had Arabic and Islamic architectural influences in its design. The Library and the Opera House, both of which are important symbols of cultural life, actually look more like military bunkers. Most buildings in modern Damascus are no different; they follow an architectural style that has no identity.”


Saturday, June 25

Ray Of Hope

"Following the light of the sun, we left the old word.” Christopher Columbus
I like this pic very much, and I couldn't resist not posting it;P


Thursday, June 23


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Thursday, June 16

Narrow But...

I heard from many old people that alleys were meant to be narrow for two reasons, the first one is for security reasons as it could be easy to defend the alley since the assailant can't sight who is lying behind the zigzag for him in the alley. The second reason was meant on social reasons, as not to let people crowded in the alley so women can walk in peace and protection, and it was common at that time that men say "Ya Sattar" or "Ya Allah" while walking, to inform women passing by that someone is coming and let them covering and move freely without teasing!


Sunday, June 12

Al-Zaher Baibars

(1260-1277)The fourth Mameluke sultan and the real founder of the Mameluke dynasty that ruled Syria and Egypt for more than three centuries. He set a limit on Mongols expansion in the Middle East after defeating them at the Battle of Ayn Jalut, and defeated the Crusaders in many other battles. He was also an efficient administrator who took interest in building various projects. Al-Zaher Baibars died in Damascus in Al-Ablaqq Palace and was buried in Al- Zahiriyya School, which was turned into a library later on. His mausoleum is considered one of the most ever beautiful mausoleum in Damascus which is richly decorated and ornamented with colored marble, gilt wood, mosaic, and carved stucco.


Friday, June 10


I once posted about Hammam El-Souk, but at that time I couldn’t get inside it, and I always had the impression that it is quit disgusting, any way last Monday I passed by a one and there, it was written that it opens for women only on Mondays, out of curiosity I got inside it, so it was my first time to see such a thing, and to my surprise it really looked amazing. My grandma used to tell me that it was common for all people at their time to bath there as houses didn’t have any baths! So they used to take their clothes and stuffs with them in something called “Buqjah” ( a piece of cloth where they put their things inside it and wrap it up like a bundle) and some foods and stay there till midday! At least one reason makes me thank God that I’m born at this age! My grandma’s stories usually end that life at that time was more difficult but more interesting!!


Wednesday, June 1