A House in Damascus - Before the Fall by Brian Stoddart

By Brian Stoddart

As Syria confronts an doubtful destiny, a home in Damascus seeks to stability the Western view with the lives and perspectives of the standard humans residing within the world’s oldest carrying on with capital urban

Drawn from the author's reports happening instantly ahead of the 2011-2012 social and political upheaval, every one tale strains the outdated urban of Damascus and its people's current throughout the earlier, taking pictures the common human point frequently lacking from the strategic and political debts.

Brian Stoddart is an Emeritus Professor of los angeles Trobe college in Melbourne. knowledgeable as a social historian, he now works as a global greater schooling reform advisor in international locations similar to Lao PDR, Cambodia, Jordan and Syria.

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Sample text

The elapse of time can eradicate memories of three days survived without bags in the middle of a major Muslim festival because no-one was looking for them. More significantly, what initially seems a remote and bewildering maze later takes on ordered familiarity. It is important all the more, then, to remember those early points, because they mark the beginning of growth and learning. During the thirty minute drive into Damascus from its airport, it is hard to imagine what the city might look like.

Next morning's offering was even better, said the agent—presumably a grand palace—but at lower price. A much lower price. It was near the agent's own house off Quemariye, the main walking and car route from Bab Touma to the Umayyad Mosque, and really in the middle of the Old City. The location was good. So was the door in the anonymous wall. The courtyard was big but the fountain gone. Maybe that was why the price was lower. This house was renovated, too, but botched. A gloomy sitting room adjoined an even gloomier tiny kitchen.

Yet all the guidebooks still refer to Damascus essentially as a magical place. To reach that magic now, you must cross flat, dry, whitish plains with little greenery or sign of life apart from people on building sites. This is not the view marvelled at by all the old time travellers, the one from the passes coming through from Beirut. Plastic bags bowl across the landscape, driven by the strong, hot winds of the dry season. The freeway eventually reaches the outskirts of the city and Mount Qassioun rears up in the background, suburbs now half way up its slopes.

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