Friday, 1 January 2010
It was difficult to wake to the day, the New Year with [...] conscious heavy pain in my heart. Starting a new year doesn't change anything. I have to live [...] until [...].
We came back to our hotel early last night. We started the New Year in our room. But I have to say that Syria and Damascus are very safe and its people are very hospitable and helpful. There is no crime such as theft or pick pocketing. People are still naive; their soul is pure and innocent.
Early morning, we went to old Bosra ruins near the Jordanian border.
On our way, 50 km. outside of Damascus, we passed near the Golan Heights, which are occupied by Israel. The fact that Israel is so close to Damascus must really cause concern for Syria.
On our way back, we stopped by the offices of Syriana, the tour company we organised our trip inSyria. We met with the firm's owner and his son and chatted for about an hour. True to Eastern manners, we talked about everything, drank their coffee and they even gave us a gift. I had forgotten and missed this sort of behaviours and traditions by living in London.
Now in our hotel we met with the TRT team filming a documentary. They have been filming a documentary about Damascus for 13 days. Today, they went up to the minaret of the Umayyad Mosque. Unfortunately, we didn't get the opportunity to do that when we went to there.
Today the weather in Damascus was very nice, clear and sunny. In these weather conditions, the city of course looks better than when we were first here in the foggy conditions. The tour company's office is in the neighbourhood behind the Four Seasons Hotel. Even though it is not like Nisantasi in Istanbul, one could say that it is the Nisantasi of Damascus. Buildings and streets are more modern, clean and orderly. There are more elegant stores and restaurants here.
Tomorrow is our last day in Damascus and Syria. Tomorrow evening, we are going back toIstanbul and on Sunday evening to London. And on Monday, we are going back to our normal, [...] life and work.