Posts tagged “Muslim


Posted on March 8, 2012

There are seven gates surrounding the Old City of Damascus and to pass through any of them is to enter a time warp, where you leave the present behind and step into a world of fantasy and make believe. Time has stood still in the oldest inhabited city in the world and all semblance of modernity has failed to penetrate its inner walls. Cars are almost non-existent and the sounds that you hear are of horse and donkey hooves and the myriad of footsteps in the narrow, cobbled alleyways. Go by night when darkness settles over the city and Damascenes flock to the sanctuary of this place in search of spiritual guidance, shopping or just the wonderful conviviality of its people. Step into the…


Posted on January 26, 2012

The morning call to prayers echoes around the city, rousing its occupants from their sleep and jolting them back into the nightmare that has engulfed them. The first rays of the sun radiate outwards over the sea, illuminating the devastation and destruction below. The Corniche, hugging the seafront with its famous hotels, the Saint Georges, the Phoenicia and the Vendome all shattered, pock marked and charred black; the shops and chic boutiques on Beirut’s Fifth Avenue, Hamra, shuttered, padlocked and empty, their terrified owners sheltering in the cellars below; the up-market apartment blocs around Raouche, their windows boarded up, their walls peppered with bullet holes; and behind them on the airport road, the squalid refugee camps of Chatila and Borj Al-Barajneh barricaded and guarded…