The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria

Front Cover
Cune Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 367 pages
In February 2001 Scott C. Davis flew to Damascus, attended raucous political salons, talked all night, and sat in local cafés debating the nature of the evolving Syrian nation. Such openness was new in Syria. Was it a sign of things to come? Would the Damascene Curtain fall as heavily and permanently as did the Berlin Wall? Would Damascus become another tourist trap bursting with American franchise restaurants, another Amman? To answer these questions, and to give a feel for the real country beneath the rapidly changing surfaces, Davis tells a story of an earlier time when Syrians did not discuss politics for fear of the 'mukhabarat' and when some hesitated, in their own homes, even to mention the name of the Syrian president. Fourteen years earlier, in October 1987, Davis had come to Damascus and begun a slow, difficult journey through Syrian society. He met artists and intellectuals, wealthy landowners, retired mystics, and also slept on the floor beside humble peasants and working folk. The times were quiet, jobs scarce, and ordinary folk could take a few moments for tea with a guest. Many of those Davis met took pride in their own simplicity. Denied political power and wealth, they aspired instead to wisdom -- or at least to perfecting a sardonic wit. This tale of grace, humour, and humanity turns on the author's search for truth and, also, for a few good quotes for his book -- a search that took him across Syria in the footsteps of Alexander to the ancient Roman Bridge over the Tigris River in the far eastern tip of the country -- and then brought him racing back to Damascus to find the Patriarch of Antioch.
 

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ROAD FROM DAMASCUS 2/E

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Over a decade ago, Davis, a sometimes carpenter/writer (The World of Patience Gromes), decided to leave family, friends, and job behind in Seattle and travel to Syria for a few months. Concerned ... Read full review

Contents

List of Maps Illustrations
9
Syria 16
36
Passport Photo 22
42
Political Cartoon 13
44
Poster of Musa alSadr
54
Qasem Shehab
58
Temple of Zeinab Frieze 62
71
Saads Farm Irrigation Ditch
83
Apamea Distance
185
Takia of the Dervishes
194
The Baron Hotel 1911
209
Boustan KulAab Aleppo Neighborhood
212
Aleppo Medina Qadeeme
213
Still Life
221
Roman Road
239
Sartre and Moudarres
250

Cham Palace Hotel
94
Cham Palace Logo
95
A Week on the Coast
103
Saydnaya Staircase
114
Saint George Slaying the Dragon
118
Monastery of Saint George
121
Crak des Chevalier Distance
128
Crak des Chevalier Floor Plan
132
Fadi and Boushra
140
Phoenician Alphabet
159
Ugarit Fortification
160
Castle of the Assassins South Tower
176
Aleppo Citadel 211
266
Taxi Driver near Membij
279
Smugglers on the Road to Rasafa
285
Adobe Dwelling
304
Nuri and Family
315
The Roman Bridge
321
Azem Palace Detail
344
Damascus Old City Skyline
351
2001
354
Kufic Bismallah 226
358
Syrian Visa 23
362
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