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Flashbacks From Damascus

I miss everything about Damascus, down to the smallest details.

Sunrise from my balcony

I miss walking around the old city through alleys I’d discovered for the first time

I miss chit chat with the nice old shopkeeper next to the Umayyad mosque

I miss the spiritual movements in the courtyard of the Umayyad mosque.

Umayyad mosque Damascus

I miss going to Hammam Ammouneh, which was open for girls every day of the week. I’d just pamper myself while meeting lots of tourists, and have priceless conversations about different Syrian cities and the landmarks and the monuments.

I miss drinking cumin with lime in Al-Nofara cafe near the Umayyad mosque.

I miss listening to Abu Shadi, AKA Hakawati. He always held a long metal stick in his hand whenever he told a story. If two people started talking while he was telling his story, he would suddenly add a note of suspense, and then all of a sudden – BOOM!! He’d hit the stick on the metal table in front of him, and all the attention will be on him.

I miss Abu Shadi. May his soul rest in peace.

I miss shawerma at Al Qasr. OH MY! The best shawerma you will ever eat in your life. Oh, and Abu Waseem’s shawerma as well (his was the shawerma shop right next to Al-Nofara, where you could sit down and eat).

I miss every and each single curve on Mount Qasioun.

I miss grabbing a cold drink while looking over the oldest capital on the planet.

I miss watching the sunset from that mountain. You gazed into the open and you saw the lights of the houses glow one by one, until the whole city turned into an artwork.

View over Damascus at dusk

I miss the simple life in Damascus.

I miss Souq al Sheikh Mehi El Deen.With the modest traders selling vegetables and fruits, and the freshest cuts of meat. You could find everything you want in that souq, and plus, you could sit down at Booz Al Jedi restaurant and eat the most delicious fatteh for just 25 liras.

I miss watching the sunrise from the balcony of my house on Al Malek Al Adel Street. Downstairs, there was a small garden that looked so green all the time. Around 4:57 am, the Kuwaiti Mosque would start the calling of morning prayer. The light would crack up the darkness of the sky and the birds would start waking up.

And then, right when the sun started rising, life hit the streets. People would walk towards the mosque to pray. The gardener started watering the plants before the kids woke up and played around in the mud. The cars flowed into the streets and a new day would begin.

Sometimes I used to stay awake at night just anticipating those ten precious minutes where everything flourished into life.

I miss how whenever you caught a taxi in the morning, you always listened to Fayrouz.

My heart just aches being away from Damascus, and I do miss every and each single thing about it.

I can go on forever, trying to explain the concept of Dimashq!

But if you’ve been there even once in your life, you’ll know exactly what I’m trying to say.

Woman looking over Damascus at sunset


Featured image: Quintestorie via Creative Commons

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