Abinos travel in Damascus is an exceptional travel agency. Everything was arranged perfectly. Ibrahim, the owner of Abinos travel cares very much about his clients and ensures everything is 100% right. If you want to contact him, email him at email@example.com. He is very responsive. He can arrange tours that cover all of Syria. I was extremely happy with his service. I enjoyed Syria on my own, but they can arrange a trip for you. For me, they arranged hotels and flights only, but this agency is a full service travel agent.
Fondest memory: The atmosphere there, the buildings, the restaurants,everything......
The Christian Quarter of the Old City of Damascus is the location of several Biblical stories relating to Saul aka St. Paul. Saul walked along Straight Street. He was then guided to the House of Ananias, which is now a chapel and finally, after changing his name to Paul, he was lowered from the city wall to escape from the Jews. A small chapel has been built here too.
The Christian Quarter also has some of the most important remains of the Roman City, including the Roman Arch and the eastern gate or Bab as-Sharqi. It is a quiet area with narrow streets and alleyways, bars and restaurants as well as Armenian, Greek Orthodox and Syrian Catholic churches.
As many members ask many times for learning Arabic , there is arabic section in Damascus university and they teach the standard and the spoken language as student want .this is the address and contact person :
Ms Rahaf Ajouka
Tel: +963-(11)-2129494 (ext 55)
Straight Street was the main east-west Roman road or Decumanus Maximus through the city, and was named Via Recta. Today its western half is named Sharia Medhat Pasha, after an Ottoman ruler, while its eastern half is called Sharia Bab as-Sharqi, which means Eastern Gateway Street. It was this street along which, according to the Bible, God commanded Ananias to walk in order to meet Saul aka St. Paul and cure him of his blindness. "The Lord told him, 'Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.' " Acts 9: 23-25.
The most famous street in Damascus runs right across the southern half of the Old City, from Bab al-Jabiye in the west to Bab as-Sharqi in the east. Part of it is covered and resembles Souq al Hamidiyya, which runs parallel to it, four blocks to the north. The eastern section, running through the Christian quarter, is mostly an uncovered street, dotted with interesting Roman ruins and ancient churches.
It used to be lined with colonnades, of which two columns, just inside Bab as-Sharqi, are still standing. A Roman Arch marks the exact spot where the Decumanus Maximus intersected with the main north-south Roman road through the city, the Cardo Maximus.
Favorite thing: Damascus owns everything to the river Barada. Descending like a torrent from the Anti-Lebanon Range, this narrow but abundant river, joined by a hundred smaller streams, cascades down the gorges of Ain al Fijeh. Then it meanders for a while beside the Beirut road, giving pleasure to the patrons of restaurants and cafés along its lush green banks, before losing itself in myriad branches and ditches. These fertilizing waters have produced the Ghouta, a vast expanse of gardens fields and orchards, the oasis from which Damascus gets much of its food.
Favorite thing: The place des Omayyads marks the entrance to the city from the west; the road from Beirut and the motorway from Qunaytra, which also serves Dimashq al Jadideh ("New Damascus") both coverage there. To the left there is quarter (ministries, army headquarters, embassies and al Assad national library), whilst the continuation of the Beirut road, the avenue Shukry Kouwatly leads to the busy center of the city, an area which is being completely reorganized. The avenue Shukry Kouwatly is bordered on the left by the gardens surrounding the Officers’ Club; on its right the waters of the Barada flow sluggishly along an excavated channels across which can be seen, on the other bank, the buildings of the International Fair, the theatre, various facilities, the gardens and the buildings of the Museum, and finally, the domes and tapering minarets of the Takiyeh al Suleimaniyeh (the "pilgrims’ haven"), dating from the time of Suleiman.
A wonderful, great, enourmous city! I don't know exactly how many millions of people live there, and anyway I guess the number would simply scare me. And yet, this big place can be cosy, frinedly, intimate. It's the lace I felt most at home: a city of charm, of contrasts, of chaos.
Fondest memory: A lady I saw in the street - which for me represented the essence of Damascus. Black stilettos, tights bright green fake leather trousers, a black biker jacket and a black hijab that covered most of her face. Anywhere else she would have looked ridiculous - in Damascus - she simply looked in between modern and traditional life.
I have worked with a few local operators in Damascus through my job as a tour guide taking danes around Syria and i would like to recommend one of them that i have had very good cooperation with.
They are called "Orpheus tours and travel" and i have generally always been happy with their services and the owner Moustafa Kadri is a trustworty person that i have enjoyed to work with.
They are generally also good at supplying well educated local tour guides.
The adress of the company is:
Orpheus travel and tours
Next to royal suites hotel
P.O. box 876
Tel: +963 11 2325620
When I visited Syria in December 2006, the running rate of exchange seemed to be US$ 1=50 SYP (Syrian Pounds or "Lira" in Arabic)... although the official, but irrelevant interbank rate was $1=54 SYP.
In Damascus, I used two cash machines. One was around the corner from Bab Touma, just outside the old city, on Adeeb Ishaq Street. The second was across the street from Cham Palace Hotel on Maysaloun Street in the new city. Undoubtedly, there are others around, but they are not a frequent occurrence. Best to withdraw a little more than you think you need, just in case.
Remember, though, compared to other countries, Syria is quite inexpensive. An expensive meal for one person will rarely cost more than $10-15, i.e. 500-750 SYP, so there is no need to withdraw a fortune from the cash machine.
One of the main reasons that Damascus is located here is the water supply from the Barada River. Although as it flows through the city, it can appear a rather sorry little river, some of the nicest buildings and streets in Damascus are on its banks. The stretch that flows along the northern edge of the Old City, just past the wall of the Citadel, is the prettiest and most interesting.
The Barada River flows into Damascus from the scenic Barada Gorge to the west of the city. Its water is used to make the local Barada Beer.
Sweet red pepper paste
Sliced garlic (optional)
Mix together the sweet red pepper paste with the crushed walnuts and the garlic.
100 gr. bread crumbs
50 gr. sweet red pepper paste
10 gr. crushed dried hot red pepper
20 gr. cumin
40 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
100 ml. olive oil
100 gr. crushed walnut
150 ml. water
20 ml. lemon juice
15 gr. sugar
VEGETABLES OMELET (EJJEH)
1 bunch of parsley
1 teaspoon of flour
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of dried mint
1 teaspoon of dried sweet red pepper
1 pinch of cinnamon
200 ml. olive oil
1 kg. eggplant
1 bunch of parsley
500 gr. eggplant
1 green pepper
1/2 bunch of chopped parsley
4 branches of green mint
150 gr. sesame oil
1/2 glass of lemon juice
25 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
30 ml. olive oil
1 clove of garlic if desired
some grains of pomegranate
1 kg. eggplant (about 5 big pieces)
Concentrated pomegranate syrup
250 gr. green olives
60 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup
40 ml. olive oil
2 green onions
1 peeled tomato
1/2 bunch of parsley
Grains of one pomegranate for decoration
Branch of thyme for decoration
500 gr. tomato
500 gr. cucumber
100 gr. onion
75 gr. green mint
75 gr. purslane
1 bunch of parsley
2 cloves of garlic
50 gr. of black olives
1 lemon juice
3 teaspoons of vinegar
1 teaspoon of sumac
125 ml. olive oil
Bread cut into triangles as desired
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The people here are very friendly and they try always to help you. Just, when you ask for directions they anwer to you even if they have no idea where is the place you are talking about.So, one person will tell you right, you go right and there is nothing, then you ask somebody else and he tells you left, the same moment you ask another person and he tells you another street...There isn't something you can really do, just try to get early at the point that you will start searching a place and god help you!!!
Fondest memory: About this,I am here 1 year now and it is happening almost everytime I am looking for something on feet.
Favorite thing: Bashar Assad is everywhere!! wherever you go, he is there, lol.. on cars ( his face plastered as a banner on back of cars ) , in the postoffice, billboards, money change places, and on and on....guaranteed wherever you end up, he will be there watching over you!!
Favorite thing: ATMs are extremely prevalent here in comparison to other cities in Syria. They are mostly located in the Central Damascus area. I only found a couple in the Old City...the easiest one to find is at the very end of Straight Street. Though for some reason it kept spitting my card out everytime I put it in. Your best bet is the central city area. There are also some exchange offices around here as well.
Below are a few books I recommend reading prior to a trip to Syria:
Syria - A Historical and Cultural Guide, by Warwick Ball
Damas - Miroir Brisé d'Un Orient Arabe (Éditions Autrement, Séries Monde)
Monuments of Syria - An Historical Guide, by Ross Burns
Syria - A Selection of Reports, by Carol Miller
Damascus - Hidden Treasures of the Old City, by Brigid Keenan (illustrated)
Damascus - A History, by Ross Burns (a detailed historical account, recommended only for those passionate about the details)
Rome in the East, The Transformation of an Empire, by Warwick Ball
Les Croisades vues par les Arabes, Amin Maalouf (The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf)
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