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Friday, January 27

Mirrored Umayyad

At al-Uqaybah at the end of Souq Saroujah there was a Khan (caravansary) well known for vice, called Khan al-Zanjari. The debaucheries and depravities were intolerable. Al-Malik al-Ashraf, Musa Ibn al-Malik al-Adel (Ayyubid era), was told that such thing should not be tolerable in a Muslim land, so he ordered it to be demolished and to build a mosque in its place. The people named it “ Jamie al- Tawbah” Mosque of Repentance, as though it had turned in a repentance to God and repented of what was in it. The mosque was built in 632/1234 with a great resemblance to Umayyad Mosque, somehow suggesting that repentance involve copying or imitating the most important and holiest local building in the country.


  • Fun story and cute mosque.

    By Blogger Amr T, at 27/1/06 12:19 AM  

  • Interesting story, and beautiful structure!

    By Blogger aleppian, at 28/1/06 12:04 AM  

  • yes very interesting story.

    By Blogger Steliano Ponticos, at 31/1/06 2:13 AM  

  • Excellent blog, beautiful pictures!

    By Blogger yaman, at 31/1/06 5:53 AM  

  • It looks like a nice mosque.

    By Blogger Lord Fool, at 31/1/06 10:53 AM  

  • Your pictures are very beautiful. Your writing is thoughtful. I loved the link to the music. I was surprised by the comment from the singer's sister. I live in Texas too. With your permission, I will put a link to your blog on my blog so my friends can read your great blog. (I want to get that CD "Traditional Songs of Syria!") You wouldn't think somebody born and raised in Texas would like that genre of music, but I do. I love the vocal style, the sinuous melodies and the rhythmic patterns.

    This is what I love best about the internet -- that it can cross distances, borders and cultures, and help two people meet and exchange ideas and experiences who would otherwise never be able to know each other.

    By Blogger sjg:o)), at 31/1/06 12:33 PM  

  • Just found your site via Kevin Sike's story on Yahoo. Awesome! I have enjoyed your site very much and it is one I will be telling others about on my own blog. Plus I have another website I will advertise it on.

    Be blessed! Moonifa (Rachel Henderson)

    By Blogger Moonifa, at 31/1/06 3:17 PM  

  • I think you will be getting a lot more hits after Kevin Sites articles. Of all 4 bloggers mentioned, I was most intrigued by your sight- it came off less political and more as an observation of your world. Your photos are beautiful and stunning! You should be proud of your abilities, and I look forward to continuing to read your posts. I think blogging in America is often about what is wrong in the world, and sometimes in their petty lives. You make me consider my own site- one to show the beauty in my life, not my daily difficulties or political rants. Again, I love your photography!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 7:29 PM  

  • Ghalia I am an american and i thank you for you education. Keep it up! Ricard

    By Anonymous richard schafer, at 31/1/06 7:53 PM  

  • Saw the article in yahoo concerning your blog. Tell us a little more about how you view Americans!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:08 PM  

  • Assalaamu alaikum Sister,

    Where exactly is that Masjid? I studied in Damascus for 2 years but I never came across it.

    Great Site!

    By Anonymous Bilal, at 31/1/06 8:18 PM  

  • A new world. Thanks for the view.

    By Blogger David, at 31/1/06 8:19 PM  

  • [This has been used to save the lives of Katrina/Rita/Wilma refugees]

    Suicide/impulsive depression/self-injury prevention.....[a figure of speech, a life preserver made up of words!!]
    Please help me END suicide & spread this eveywhere! It works, which is
    the only point!

    Read with the kind of open mind that conquers the
    "SUICIDE VACCINE": ...........You don't have to
    believe in God to sense that there are unseen,
    negative forces at work against the human race; vast,
    heartless, loveless and unsympathetic. (If you don't
    believe in anything you can't see, touch or feel,
    you're vulnerable!
    Expand your horizon to understand that ALL of life is
    connected and has a great impact on us, whether we can
    see it or not!....like a virus,with the naked eye, for
    instance.) Fallen angels (who are JUST as real as YOU
    are, who hide behind our deceived ignorance of their
    REAL methods, who lost their "day jobs" and have
    nothing better to do than prey on us, and who are

    lled "demons") get sheer delight in tricking humans
    into self-murder and slaughter us like slave/cattle
    daily (as well as other deadly deceptions such as
    incited, outward violence)!
    One such deception we call "suicide". The word "angel"
    means "messenger". The 'Maker of All Things' had
    designed angels to carry His thoughts and put them
    into the mind of man.
    The fallen angels can still place their thoughts
    directly into any human's mind, in that human's very
    own thought voice....YOUR thought voice! (Ever had an
    angry or impulsive thought, word or action that you
    knew wasn't you? We all have!!)

    "Suicide risk" people (and others) that don't know or
    ACCEPT that this tampering can be done to them are
    stuck thinking that was what they really wanted to do.
    In play also is the demon's ability to incite, to
    manipulate our feelings and emotions, dragging us
    along the bottom of our lives (depression or pain of
    any sort, whether physical or emotional) and setting
    us up for a deadly trick, often through isolation,
    arrogance, never-ending boredom or impulsive behavior
    (we are most vulnerable here!).
    Also, the more self-absorbed or self-centered the
    individual is, the more susceptible they are (involve
    yourself with other's needs as a
    defense....others-centered rather than self-centered

    LOVE is what you do for ALL others that is in their
    highest or best interest, anytime, anywhere,
    selflessly! 24/7).
    People with good fortune shining on them would hardly
    listen to a suicide thought, as out of place as it
    would be there and a noticeable implant into their
    thought process. The bad guys have thousands of lures
    that get most of us (like $$money$$...which took the
    place of Love in the USA....entertainment, sports &
    business....which took the place of Family, "soaps"
    etc., but we can be inoculated against the
    fooling trick of suicide and eradicate it now that the
    REAL source has finally been revealed! HELP to spread
    this objective truth around freely to PREVENT more
    needless deaths and tragedies, to PROTECT the human
    race, including those you love!

    "People who don't believe that the devil walks this
    earth have not seen the things I've seen (terrible
    human slaughter). I believe that there is such a thing
    as true evil, and that there is true goodness." [Dr.
    Ronald Wright:: Broward County Medical Examiner,
    Mick's response: "I realised
    recently that if I ever caused an upset with someone -
    knowingly or unknowingly - that I would try to handle
    this upset by harming myself in an effort to placate
    the other person. This included serious physical
    damage to myself and attempted suicide. Having spotted
    this info (Suicide Vaccine), I am now no longer going
    to do it and wished to let you know this. It would be
    better for me to confront the things I have caused and
    handle them. Love Mick."

    "The greatest trick the devil has ever pulled is
    convincing the human race that he doesn't exist." The
    Usual Suspects

    "Reality is something that when you stop believing in
    it, it doesn't go away". Philip K. Dick

    ---Ignorance is something you don't know when you really need it!---

    http://jimsorrell.proboards33.com or
    http://s2.excoboard.com/exco/index.php/boardid=15311 or


    By Blogger Captain Church, at 31/1/06 8:42 PM  

  • I am an American and alittle worried about reading and writing on your blog

    I wish to know more about your wonderful country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:45 PM  

  • Hey Ghalia,
    I just read an article on yahoo about syrian bloggers, with interviews with u, Majd and Sara...
    Congrats guys...you're famous now:)
    Syrain Blogggers rule!!

    By Blogger Rami, at 31/1/06 8:46 PM  

  • your map does not include israel...does that mean you deny the existence of the state of israel and wish its destruction?
    or is that the extremist view of that syrians tend to have so they exclude israel off their maps?
    i would like u to email me an answer at iop990@hotmail.com
    thank you

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:50 PM  

  • Love your blog :-)

    By Blogger Shawnamarie, at 31/1/06 10:09 PM  

  • Great blog, Ghalia. Found it through the Kevin Sites article. Love your writing style and your choice of topics. Beautiful snapshots in words and images of your country!

    As for iop990@hotmail.com ...

    Look more carefully. Israel is the purple country below Lebanon, with Nazareth in it. The brownish "Palestine" you see is the West Bank. I think they just didn't label it because they only showed a tiny piece of the country.

    But whatever. Why such a one-track mind? Why should a blog about life in Syria be obligated to crop its map in such a way that another country takes center stage?

    I'm American, btw, and support (most) US policies in the Middle East, but I'm glad to get a little insight into real life in Syria. Shukran gazeelan!

    By Anonymous Mark G, at 31/1/06 11:45 PM  

  • ghalia with you permission I liked to you blog in one of my posts. as usual great job bloging about damascus

    By Blogger Steliano Ponticos, at 1/2/06 12:34 AM  

  • I found your blog through the yahoo article also. The pictures and stories are beautiful. I have always wanted to visit that part of the world because of the historic value. Maybe sometime in the future this can be possible.

    By Anonymous Jennifer - Florida, at 1/2/06 1:08 AM  

  • Funny - it reminds me that across the board so many religious sites (Jewish, Muslim, Christian) have their origins in our "baser" instincts - in Christianity of course the holidays are superimposed over the Pagan feast days that celebrated some sort of depravity or other - and the churches or temples often occupy the sites of some Roman nonsense or other. Maybe the important aspect is that these spots are where people congregate for some reason or other. Ironically, one thing that all of the religions have in common (at least in their texts, if not in their practitioners) is the idea of jubilation, joyfulness, exhuberance - it's a shame we can't just declare a year of celebration like they used to in antiquity and put everything else on hold. But then there are always those who have a pipeline directly to god - and according to them he's more concerned about the kind of shoes we're wearing.

    By Anonymous Michael, at 1/2/06 4:01 AM  

  • I'm not sure I'd call this a blog. A log implies an ordered sequence of some sort. This is something different, possibly unique. Not sure there is a word for what you're doing, but whatever it can be called is excellent. The Internet has much information, but information is not the same as culture.

    The story is interesting. It depends on the exact beliefs of the place at the exact time - interpretations change over the ages - but there were many different ancient traditions that might explain at least some of what lay behind the copying.

    The news story that mentioned this site said there were only about 7 regulars. Hey, I think you'd rather 7 quality readers than a million idiots, but I'm sure there are more than 7 decent people in the world. Well, I hope so, anyway. Best of luck finding them!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 9:38 AM  

  • I think that what you are attempting to do for your people is extremely noble. Trying to get people, notably Americans, to understand a little more about who you are and what you stand for takes real courage, the kind of courage most people don't have. I applaude you.

    By Blogger Miki, at 3/2/06 12:41 AM  

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