Guest post: Looking at Damascus Through the Looking Glass

Over the past year Syria has become the country about which I hear most in the news. Not for the best reasons. So, every time I hear about what is going on there, I realize how little I know about the country and its normal life. That’s why I am especially excited to have a guest post that provides insight on Damascus written by my colleague Claire Read, who visited Syria two years ago and has been since then looking at Syria Through the Looking Glass.

“Living in a place changes it in my mind’s eye, and for me Damascus unfolded itself during the 6 months I was there. Now, when I think of it, I see tiny alleys filled with cries of children playing, I see bright blue skies shaded by arching ruins of bygone eras, I see souqs beyond souqs beyond souqs. I see impossibly green avenues flanked by bleak mountainsides, I see turn after narrow turn hemmed in by sheer grey walls, but inside them I see painted tiles and courtyards, fountains and trees. I hear the mosque blend with church bells and the car horn pierce the hubbub. But I feel a sadness. Life is not as it was.

If Damascus is a person, it’s an elderly gentleman. The plain walls hide wonders within; the ageing face conceals its memories. It’s been 2 years since I was there and when I get the chance to return, it will be a changed place. But, like a brother’s, its fate is always in the back of my mind as I carry on with a life far away”.

NB: NB: All photographs are taken by Claire Read. Click on pictures to view larger