January 19, 2018
Interior of coffee shop

Coffee Shops

I miss the old coffee shops in Damascus, where time stopped hundreds of years ago. I miss the smell and the sound of bubbling water coming out of shishas, the laughters of tawleh players, the shouts and curses of card players.
January 19, 2018
Ummayad Mosque and lamps by night

The Haunting

I have dreamed of Damascus, once a week or so, for the past nine years. Endlessly, my mind has returned to the country where my body may no longer go.
May 6, 2017
Apricots on the tree

Frozen Lemonade

“I’ll pay.” “No, I’ll pay.” “Last time you paid.” “So! I’ll pay this time too.” “Come on, Alaa, get ready to go to the shops."
December 20, 2015
Girl writing sums on blackboard

My Bracelet

When I was a young girl in Damascus, when everything seemed possible, I was told going to school and completing my education would be the most valuable thing I could do.
November 28, 2015
Close up of fried chicken

Craving Broasted

Not a single day goes by without something triggering a thought about Syria, my home or my childhood. Today, despite being a vegetarian for two years now, the trigger was a sudden craving for ‘broasted’ chicken.
September 19, 2015
Heart and key silhouetted against sunset

The Keys To My Home

I used to complain about my father’s repeated requests that I take my key with me every time I wanted to go out.
July 3, 2015
Girl on bicycle

Bicycle Love

Before I had my bike, “Wings”, I used to get around Damascus on foot. But then I decided to speed things up.
June 21, 2015
Hakawati storyteller with book

Flashbacks From Damascus

I miss everything about Damascus, down to the smallest details.
April 14, 2015
Street scene with people and taxis

A Soul to Remember

28 November 2010. That was the day I packed my bags, said goodbye to my city and headed for Damascus.