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Lebanon & Syria Part VII

Thursday, 31 December 2009

[...] last day of [...] months without [...]. [...] start of the first year without [...]. Let's see if I will see the end of it. This time last year, [...] still [...]. I was happy. I had hopes and plans for the future. My life has suddenly turned upside down [...] ago. I changed. I no longer have plans or hopes; only for the life after. Anyway, all for the best.

This morning, we left Aleppo. Before I write about today's events, I should write about something that I forgot to write earlier. They really like Recep Tayyip Erdogan here, especially because he opened the borders with Turkey. Even young children know of him. His nickname here is Sultan Abdulhamit the Third because Sultan Abdulhamit was their favourite Ottoman here. It seems that they like authoritarian leaders who are inclined toward fascism and rule with an iron fist. We once heard children playing on the streets of Damascus calling each other "Obama." But no one mentions Bush of course.

Our first stop in the morning was the Apamea ruins. Apamea was the name of Selerus' wife and he built the city in her name. It consists of a 2 km. long main street with columns on both sides.

After walking here with F. for about 40 minutes in the fresh morning air, we continued with our journey toward Damascus.

After passing through the third biggest Syrian city, Hama, we stopped by the village, Malua, which is 50-55 km. away from Damascus.

This Christian village situated in the middle of the desert and surrounded by mountains is where Jesus' language Aramaic is still spoken.

Now we are back in Damascus. We settled in room number 1 of Talismann I. Here is even nicer than Talismann II.

Today, the weather in Damascus is clear and sunny. It is easier to see and clearly understand the city this way. Buildings look like the old ones in Istanbul. The traffic is horrible. Streets are very dusty and muddy. [...] Fruits, vegetables, even baked bread are on those dirty, dusty and muddy sidewalks. They are not even on a piece of cloth. They touch the ground directly. [...]

Most people look like the Assyrian figures we have seen in the museums. Some are just like Arabs but some have incredibly coloured eyes. For example, today, I have seen a man with turquoise eyes and I couldn't believe it. Of course I have seen blue eyes before but I had never seen anyone with turquoise eyes anywhere in the world before. We are not thinking of having a New Year's Eve celebration tonight. We plan to dine early.

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