Off the beaten path
I've travelled far to a land where the west often associates it with war & destruction. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all travel; the world media reports only doom & gloom. But I am glad that I did, only to find out that this is a beautiful country filled with warm and amazing people. With charming smiles.
The genuineness is overwhelming. Though I've seen the sadness and the pain you're going through. Shiite, Druze, Kurd, Christian, Sunni or Circassian. It didn't matter you welcomed and embraced us with open arms enabling us to experience your hospitality. It truly breaks my heart to witness the destruction, the remains of empty buildings mils after miles decimated by the war.
"Ray of Hope"
Homes province, 162 kilometres from Damascus
Late afternoon a family walks down an abandoned street...
Krak des Chevaliers
in the words of T. E. Lawrence "the Finest castle in the world". its true this is the most picturesque I have seen with its marvellous galleries and grand chambers. This crusader castle in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world.
One of many chambers
The Krak des Chevaliers at dusk
The village of Maaloula with its stone-washed houses in blue, green, red, white and pink clinging to the slopes of the mountains gives a sense of tranquillity. The approach to the village through the pass was just like a movie set from Indiana Jones.
The approach to the village through the pass
Today Aramaic is spoken in just a handful of places on earth. And here I am in this beautiful village of Maaloula, north of Damascus what an opportunity to be in the presence of a recital in Aramaic. The Muslims and the Christians of this isolated village consider them selfs as the guardians of Aramaic, how amazing; they have been speaking it for the past three thousand years the language of Jesus.
"Damascus is the centre of the world," he says while sipping his tea. "you know we where the wealthiest city in the world, that was a long time ago. All the traders on the silk road used stop here" he pauses then gently lights up a yet another cigarette. Taysir Assadi is a passionate guide. It is obvious that he cares about his country and is eager to share his knowledge.
My time spent here
has not been in vain.
Thank you for having me
I wish you well and
In time peace will return to your land
and so will I ..
25th October 2019