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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Memories of a Geisha

A wonderful Movie Based on the internationally acclaimed novel by Arthur Golden which unfortunately I haven’t read yet but after seeing the movie I would defiantly Do.
The story begins in the years before World War II when a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house the little girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri beautiful and accomplished she captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the man beyond her reach.






Memories of a geisha is a sweeping romantic epic set in a mysterious and exotic world that still casts a potent spell today


Actually I didn’t know the real mean of Geisha until I saw the movie
I thought that geisha is a courtesan that sells her body to men but it turns out that its not, a geisha Is an artist that entertains, play instruments dance and sing
And she’s not allowed to make any decisions in her life…she’s controlled by her owner.

The movie got real beautiful seines and shows us the beauty of Japanese culture
I strongly recommend it

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Home sweet home


To me , home is every thing. home is the door that opens to welcome us in. it’s the delicious smell of the food mom cooks in the kitchen which makes our mouths water. It’s the giant comfy bed where we lay to rest our bodies after a long day of work. It’s the one huge blanket that we tuck under seeking worm in the cold winter nights. Home is our own special corner with our own books and treasures, our own thoughts. Home is a kiss and a band-aid for a little cut...and a shoulder to lean on for the big hurts. It's a place for growing things.. plants blossoming, pets, people. There's a room where everyone gathers to work, to play, or just to be together. It’s the place where we learned how to live, love, forgive, forget, and face the world. It’s he only place where we find peace, the only place where we can be ourselves. It’s what gives us the strength to do what ever we want to do. It’s the reason of our existence, it’s the land to defend, the people to love, and the life to live. Home is the little moments which we’ll always remember, no matter what they were, happy or sad. It's where you make plans today and watch dreams come true tomorrow.

Home dose not only mean the shelter that has a roof ...It can mean your country your City your family and loved ones , everything that you consider Home

Sunday, February 19, 2006

About My Beloved Damascus

A modern capital whose voice - discreet but assured is having a decisive effect on the Arab world and in the Mediterranean area today.Damascus is said by its citizens to be "the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world".One other Syrian city, Aleppo, disputes this title. However, recent excavations have shown that it is the Hama region (the Orontes al Lattamne basin) which really deserves it.

Omayyad Mosque - At the heart of Damascus The Mamluk minaret framed between two Corinthian columns dating from fourteen centuries earlier, symbolizes the extraordinary mixture of influences that have gone to make up this city of nearly three million five hundred thousand people.
The Omayyad dynasty made Damascus the political, religious and cultural center of early Islam; but the built by Caliph Al Walid (705-715) included within its walls a church which had itself been built on the site of the temple of the god Hadad The Arameans. Salah al Din, the hero of Islam, lies buried in this city which the Crusaders were never able to invest; and it was not far from here that Paul of Tartous was converted.

Damascus is mentioned in the earliest historic texts - Egyptian records of the 19th century B.C. and the archives of Mari, dating from the 25th century B.C.
Further back, history gives way to legend and speaks of "Dimashq al Sham". Legend too, gives way to poetry, in which it is said that when Christ returns to Earth to do battle with the Anti-Christ, he will make his way down by the highest minaret of the Omayyad Mosque.
The oldest city in the world?… To be sure, but is it not so because the secret of longevity is change, and because timelessness can only be achieved through evolution?
No matter
what his route, the visitor is struck by much that is new in Damascus. Arriving from the International Airport he sees many recent technical installations , ultra modern hotels, and the improvement of the arid zones on the edge of the desert.
If he comes by motorway - from Homs, Hama or Aleppo, he sees a vast new industrial area, wide avenues and clear-ways right to the heart of the city. Coming from Beirut he passes the University Residence, the extensive duty-free zone, the International fair with its great concrete arrow, the handle of which symbolizes the Damascus sword. If he comes in from Qunaytra he sees a satellite-city under construction - Dimashq ad-Jadideh, New Damascus.
There is also the new mountain road, leading into the city from the north after having climbed almost to the summit of the Jabal Qassiun; it offers a splendid panoramic view of Damascus and the green slopes around it. Other features include the three sports complexes, finished in 1976 to receive the Arab Olympic games.

Finally, the city center is being restructured to cope with heavy traffic and to provide the business premises, offices, hotels and administrative buildings that are urgently needed.



A sea of cars and people


Early in the morning , and above all in the evenings, the old city and the central quarters overflow with a human tide that surges from the pavements into the roadways, causing furious hooting from the motorists and vain shouting from the traffic police. Chains and protective barriers would seem to have been devised merely to serve as a training ground of obstacle racing… Very often the tide loses momentum and people drop out to stand in bus queues, to stop at the news vendors’ stalls, and to stand around in little groups and discuss the news in front of "super palatial" cinemas with advertisements all over them…
If the peddlers’ trays - laden with gewgaws, edible seeds and cigarettes sold individually - rarely attract the attention of the passers by, the same cannot be said of the shop-windows crammed with transistor r
adios, tape-recorders and, the latest craze, cassettes.
Garlands of oranges and lemons, great glass jars misted over from the ice-cold juices they contain, proclaim the narrow shop where you need little encouragement to buy freshly-squeezed fruit juices. In the neighboring roast-meat shop they tend to prefer a modern automatic spit that can take fifty or a hundred chickens at a time, to the traditional kebab skewers and the vertical "Shawarma" introduced by the Ottomans. And there behind the window stands a man with a big knife who, quick as a flash, will cut you one, two or ten slices from an apricot and semolina cake as big as a millstone…
Vanishing turbans and fezzes The crowds are dense, but peaceable; even the children rarely get excited. The people are pleasant, courteous and helpful when necessary, but rarely demonstrative or spontaneously familiar. A stranger in their midst does not arouse excessive curiosity; they show a reserve that it would be wrong to interpret as indifference - being more often the result of the difficulty of communication.
Dress is also a cause of astonishment to the foreigner encountering an anonymous crowd here for the first time.
The galabiehs, the turbans and the fezzes, that used to be worn, are being rapidly replaced by somewhat dreary European clothes. Even the "Kufiyeh", the headdress consistin
g of a piece of red or black check toweling held in place by a pit - so practical for desert travel - is seldom seen. In the general monotony the occasional sheikh’s turban, or the soutane of an Orthodox priest, stands out.


Fortunately the younger generation of Damascus women have the secret of blending simplicity with elegance - consigning the black veil, worn closed like a monk’s hood, to folklore.




Thursday, February 16, 2006

SNOW

Its been raining now almost 30 hours all over Damascus and around
And today at 8 pm snow felled also…actually it was a mixture between rain and snow

Here’s some pics taken by a friend





pics taken by EL GOLDEN®

A song by the great Fairuz is really Suitable

تلج تلج عم بتشتي الدنيي تلج

و النجمات حيرانين و زهور الطرقات بردانيين

تلج تلج عم بتشتي الدنيي تلج و الغيمات تعبانين

عالتلة خيمات مضويين

تلج تلج شتي خير و حب و تلج على كل قلب

و على كل مرج ألفة و خير و حب متل التلج

الله يبعت الخير

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

أريج الياسمين يحكي تاريخ دمشق


تزهو دمشق ببيوتها القديمة ويقال أن أريج ياسمينها يسامر النجوم في ليالي الصيف ولكن هذا الجزء من تاريخ المدينة يكابد الهموم اليوم.تلك الوردة البيضاء الصغيرة استطاعت أن تقاوم عوامل الزمن الذي استطاع أن يأتي على جزء كبير مما يحميها من جدران تلك البيوت الأثرية التي سجلت لدى اليونسكو وأصبحت جزءا من التراث العالمي. الزمن ترك المدينة وبيوتها تشكو نقص الموارد المالية اللازمة لترميمها الياسمين هو أحد أهم خصائص البيوت في الجزء الأثري من مدينة دمشق التي تغنى بها الشعراء العرب وبينما يعيش الياسمين على القليل من الماء يغطي الغبار الزخارف والتصميمات الهندسية التي تعود إلى عود عربية أموية أو مملوكية وعثمانية أو تصميمات أوروبية تم استقدامها لتزين بيوت دمشق التي كانت إحدى المدن التي احتضنت عاصمة الخلافة الإسلامية وتزخر دمشق القديمة بالقصص الفريدة حيث عاش في أحد بيوتها قادة ومشاهير مثل قائد الثورة الجزائرية الأمير عبد القادر الجزائري وجين ديبكي سلسلة النبلاء الإنكليز التي تزوجت شيخ قبيلة بدوي وأمضت بقية حياتها في دمشق القديمة وأدخلت إلى مجموعة الزهور التي تزرع فيها الزهرة التي يسميها
الدمشقيون بالماغنوليا
ويقول رائد جبري أنه عمل بجهد على تحقيق حلمه بإحياء بيت جده الذي بني في العام 1737 وأقام فيه ملك العراق فيصل واجتمع فيه
مناهضو الانتداب الفرنسي القرن الماضي وقال جبري أن التكلفة التقديرية لبيت بحجم بيتهم الذي تقدر مساحته بحوالي 1200 متر مربع حوالي 30 مليون ليرة سورية (600 ألف دولار) ولكنه قرر أن يستثمر البيت كمقهى ومركز لعرض الأعمال الفنية والإنترنت والندوات
الثقافية لتغطية تكلفة ترميمه
وتبنى البيوت الدمشقية جميعها على نفس المبدأ حيث يقع الإيوان وهي غرفة للجلوس في الجهة الجنوبية والى جانبيه غرفتان تدعيان البراني وهو أقرب إلى الباب الخارجي لاستقبال الضيوف والجواني للجلوس والمنامة بالإضافة إلى ملاحق الدار. أما باحة الدار الداخلية فتتوسطها بركة ماء بينما تزين أشجار وأزهار أهمها الياسمين والوردة الشامية الحمراء الجدران المحيطة وتطل عليها شبابيك ومشربيات خشبية بزخارف متنوعة. وتبنى البيوت عامة من طابقين ولكن مساحاتها تتفاوت كثيراً من بيوت كبيرة ومتوسطة وأشبه بالقصور مثل قصر العظم ومكتب عنبر الذي يسمى الآن بقصر الثقافة وهما من ممتلكات الدولة السورية وهما مفتوحان للعامة. ومن الزخارف التي تزين الجدران ما يدعى بالأبلق والأملق وهي أحجار محفورة وفق خطوط هندسية مغطاة بطين ملون بينما يلبس السقف بما يسمى بالعجمي وهو خشب جوز نقع في الماء والكلس لمدة ثماني سنوات ونشف لمدة أربع سنوات قبل الشروع بزخرفته. وثمة أنماط أخرى للزخرفة كالأوروبي الذي يتمثل بحجارة الرخام تزينها رسومات دقيقة كأغصان الأشجار. وتضم دمشق القديمة حوالي 6000 منزل بالإضافة إلى الجوامع والكنائس
والحمامات الأثرية
ويقول نعيم ضابطة المسؤول عن دائرة لجنة حماية دمشق القديمة أن جهود محافظة مدينة دمشق
تنصب الآن على الحفاظ على مدينة دمشق القديمة وتحسين البنى التحتية من المياه والكهرباء والهاتف وترميم الواجهات. وقال: "نحن نريد أن تعيش المدينة كما هي بأهلها وسكانها ومرافقها ولا نريدها أن تتحول إلى منطقة سياحية خاصة للمطاعم فقط. لا نريدها أن تبقى بدون حياة خلال النهار"

Monday, February 13, 2006

A lonly Valentine

My 1st Valentine spent lonesome after 4 years.

alone I find myself wasting every breath
and Time ticks ever onward
Depression swallows my soul Agony eats my heart
When will this ever end? What caused it to start?

god I must sound so miserable…

Lets talk about facts…well the valentine phenomenon started to spread a lot in Our country
and as you walk down the streets in Damascus preparation for this occasion starts a month before.

All gifts shops are decorated in red hearts and flowers and small red lights hanging all over the streets…flower shops filled with red roses packed in many ways and different styles not to mention that Roses prices increases to become double the regular price …Valentines party’s preparations and publicity all over the radio stations and the billboards…and you see it more common among our young and teenagers…young couples running disparately after gifts and presents for their love ones…eh I must say LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Happy Valentine everyone

WEE WEE WEE


Well yesterday night I went to bed around 1 AM and I actually read a bit before sleeping the Last part of Dan brown ( Angels and Demons) I’ve struggled to finish that book because I had exams and stopped reading it for a while…anyway at around 4 AM woke up with a Loud Voice out on the street (WEE WEE WEE TOOOOT TOOOOOT WEE WEE WEE WEE WEE TOOOOT TOOOOT) must be our neighbor car alarm. I said to my self well just a bit and its gonna shut the hell up…but unfortunately it haven’t and kept on
So loud and annoying …I tried to put my head under the pillow but in vain the sound was so Loud ( WEE WEE WEE TOOOOOT TOOOOT) prayed that our nice neighbor well wake up and turn his alarm off…but it sounded that our nice neighbor was sleeping profoundly
And didn't notice the annoying sound that his car was making…30 Mins went on and the (WEE WEE WEE TOOOOOT TOOOT) kept on and on Some of the neighbors woke up and started shouting from their windows and balconies... SOMEBODY SHUT THE DAMN ALARM DOWN…but in Vain our nice neighbor was Dreaming sweet dreams
While us poor people was struggling with the voice of his car alarm trying to get some sleep but in vain the voice went on ( WEE WEE WEE WEE TOOOOT TOOOOOOOT) after an hour and half when the first rays of lights was coming out the Sound went down… his car battery went down luckily and at last we could have some sleep.

Well our nice neighbor will never know what we went through last night
But he defiantly will wonder what the hell happened to his car battery!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Meaning of Damascus


Controversial explanations have been made to guess etymological origin of the name of the Syrian capital city. Some hold that “damashaq” means the fast-moving camel and the name was given because the building of the city was completed swiftly. Others believe it was named after Damashaq the great grandson of Sam son of Noah,who built the city.Still others presume that the Romans called it “Dumuskus” which means the double musk.Or perhaps the name was taken from Hermes son in Greek mythology who came over to Syria. In Aramean the name might have been derived from Dermask or dersauk as (E deim) means land and (mask) means (red) in Syriac.Whatever the etymological origion of the word, Damascus remains, as ever (the eye of the whole east) as the Rooman Julianus described the greatness of the city.Under the Roman it was a chief town, and later the fortress of bilad-U-Sham, and the passage to Mecca, the pavilion of all Muslims and God’s paradise on earth have never seen anything so extensive as its orchard, so good as its fruits and so plentiful as its water.It is said the water is so abundant that a fountain can be found in every house.Some historical sources say that the name of Damashaq (Damascus) is derived from the Aramaic word (dam shaq) which means a town built on the rock where the blood of Mash, the fourth son of Aram Bin Sam Bin Noah,flowed soon after a heavy blow by his brother Aws deeply cut Mash’s head.The fight between the two brothers broke out when they could not come into agreement on the name of the new town, some historians had different illustrations with regard to the name of (Dimashaq).The old city of Damascus still preserve its graphical and historical aspects,the high wall which protects the old city of Damascus is crystal clear until today.The citadel was built during the Seljuk rule, and rebuilt during Saladdin rule.It occupies an area of land estimated 220*190 square meters.It has 13 towers. Nur Eddin tower in the south west part of the wall, was built in 1168 A.D.Al-saleh Ayoub tower was built in 1248 A.D.There are seven gates, some of the gates date back to the roman era. Bab Touma and Bab Sharqi are perhaps the most oldest and famous gates of the old city of Damascus.Damascus museum, souk Al-Hamidieh and several other souks, palaces, Khans, and oldschools and Bimarestans are additional attraction in the old city of Damascus.

Traditional Damascene wedding

It is necessary to know the procedure which goes on before the actual wedding takes place.The business of match-making need to be, and still conducted by mothers in some parts of Damascus. Mothers and sisters assume the responsibility of finding suitable bride for their sons and brothers. All the prospective husband has to do is to name the specifications of the prospective bride, and he is sure to get one that answers to there specifications.The female match-makers conduct exploratory missions among relatives, neighbors and acquaint, and report to the anxious would-be bride grooms, who consider the pros and cons of prospective candidates. The type of information submitted for his consideration relates to the physical properties such as figure, color of skin, eyes and hair, shape, colors of eyes, mouth, teeth, nose, etc.; and to the social and financial status.Modern standards of evaluation consider such methods inadequate at first sight. Yet the various kinds of tricks and devices old females use to gain access information are surprising. Thus it is common practice for such females to surprise the bride before she has time to dress up and appear at her best. More over they make a point of kissing the bride in order to make sure that she has no bad breath or perspiration odors, some of them even arrange a seemingly coincidental visit to the public bath frequented by the bride and her family, in order to have a closer look at her.In addition to first hand information secondary sources are made use of. Those are found among neighbors and acquaintance of the future brides, who are usually only too willing to provide all sorts of information, relating to the girl's social and domestic qualities. Recently, a revolutionary method has bee introduced. Some people manage to obtain by fair or devious means, a photo of the bride to show to the man. This, it should be pointed out, was possible only among progressive families, that tolerate a picture of their daughter to be taken, provided the girl has scarf on her head to cover her hair.When all these operations are over, the prospective husband has to weigh the evidence presented to him, analyzes it, and scrutinize it, before he comes to an important decision, that of settling for wife. Then, another important step follows: negotiations relating to the dowry; the advance dowry which is to be paid and the late dowry which is to be paid in case of divorce.Negotiations concerning dowry are done be men: the father or the senior member of the bridegroom's family visit the father of the bride and officially proposes, or ask for the hand of the bride as they say in Arabic. Such negotiations are considered to be embarrassing. But fortunately, clichés and stereotyped expressions have been developed throughout the years and are used on such occasions. The bridegrooms, father would have learned the words he has to say, which run something like this: "We have come to be honored by asking the hand of your jewel of a daughter".The bride's father also knows the right words to say in reply something like this: "I offer you my daughter as a slave in your kitchen". This formalities and ceremonies completed, the actual hard bargaining takes place, at the end of which the amount of the dowry is fixed and the date of the wedding is set. The money paid by the bridegroom is spent on clothing for the bride, on furnishing a reception room, and on providing mattresses, pillows and sheets, and as a must. Pajamas a dressing gown and a pair of slippers for the bridegroom.The wedding takes place at the bridegroom's house. Only women are invited to the wedding. The bridegroom's guests come directly to his place first, and are then escorted to the weeding by a delegation comprising the senior female members of the bridegroom's family, who are sent to escort the bride, her family and her guests to the wedding, the delegation to provide the means of transport, formerly horse drawn carriages, and recently motor-cars.When the bridal procession arrives, the bride is received with cheers and songs, and is led to an elevated canopy but not before she sticks a piece of yeast on the door of the house, as a good omen. As she walks towards her appointed place, sugar coated almonds are sprinkled over her head and guests rush to pick-up as many as they can get held of. The procession stars from the house of one of the bridegroom's friends, where the pre wedding ceremony of the bridegroom's hair cut and dressing up is attended to by his friends and relatives, amidst cheers, reveling and dancing.On the arrival of the bridegroom, which is announced by a special messenger, the bride is supposed to proceed to the center of the courtyard of the house to meet him. The center of the house is a compromise position, compromise being reached after the bridegroom's family insisting on the bride not proceeding more than a few steps.The bridegroom the leads the bride to the elevated canopy, which is surrounded by relatives and guests. Before he sits next to her he takes out of his pocket a bracelet of a necklace, amidst cheers and rejoicing and presents it to her. This is followed by music and dancing, provided by professional group, if the family is well to do, or by amateur friends and relatives, if the family is not so rich. Singing and dancing last till after midnight, punctuated by intervals during which the pride-retries to change her white wedding dress and put on dresses of various colors.After midnight the bridegroom makes a move to withdraw with his bride but he meets with opposition on every side. After many resisted attempts, he manages to lead the bride to the bridle chamber, followed by female members of the family, who start offering their presents, usually in the form of gold sovereigns. The presents ceremony over, the family leaves the couple to themselves and continue the wedding celebrations until dawn.


Graduation paper 1998

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Start


كل المدن لها تاريخ الا دمشق فمنها بدأ التاريخ
Here we start …well I was browsing this certain Site when I came a cross a link that took me to what is called a blog… I started to read and read and this blog led me to another blog and so on …and I liked what was writing in many of those bloggs. And many of them where actually bloggs written by Syrian people. I was excited to read their thoughts
Was astonished of how well cultured and educated and good English command they have…and was really proud of that…this is our Bright Syrian Youth full of bright Ideas and thoughts…when i used to talk to friends from other countries they’ve always asked me that they were surprised to find a Syrian young girl with such ideas and good English. and I’ve always start defending and telling them that they are mistaken and that almost all Syrian young people are well educated…which now is absolutely proven after browsing through those blogs that I came by, by chance.


God bless you all and long live Syria