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Seeing 2 men holding hand in public Europe will indicate that they are gay couple, but that is not the case in Syria or in Midde-east in general. Men in Syria usually hold hands in public to express their frienship and show that they are close to each other even physiscaly nothing homosexual about it.even married men still walk hand in hand I find it it pure and simple and innocent and sweet as well is also very usual to kiss other man in public or house in his cheeks ofcours.Worth to mention that Syrian men are very flirty even if you are a male They still flirt with you.
Written Jan 29, 2012
Is it acceptable to drink alcohol? What about drug use?
Drug use is strictly prohibited in Syria, and carries very stiff penalties for usage or possession, and no distinction is made between “hard” or “soft” drugs”. If you’re carrying pot, weed, hash or marijuana for medical use or otherwise, do not attempt to enter Syria.
Drinking Alcohol in public is unacceptable and not recommended (and sometimes illegal) except in tourist resorts like Lattakia. In all other cities, you can drink alcohol at the resturants or bars that serve it, as well as in private in your hotel room. You may bring alcohol with you to Syria, but maybe required to pay duty tax.
Syria is not like Dubai you find alcohol ONLY in bars of hotels.
in Syria you can purchase alcohol easily from liquor shops and bars as well.
Bottle of Beer is is aboit half US dollars in shops,while 2 US dollars in bars..
Written Jan 29, 2012
When is the best time to visit Syria?
- The best time to visit Syria is spring or autumn, as the temperature is in the mild mid 20s. Winter is too cold and Summer is probably too hot for all but the most hardy traveler, add to that frequent electricity and water shortages during the hot summer months.
Written Jan 29, 2012
Syrians has easy and cheap internet access. Internet is very common around the cities at internet cafes. since the Syrian upraising and crisis that started january 2011 most of Facebook and YouTube have been blocked and monitored but there are still some websites unblocked. The cafes are very friendly but in order to avoid being price gouged it is best to ask a local how much the internet costs per an hour before agreeing to sit down. It is usually 50 S.P per hour (1$ US),
Written Jan 29, 2012
Wasta is a word often heard in Syria. It is Arabic and translates as something like authority, influence, political (or other) power, connections, or a combination of those terms. In practical terms it means that some rules can become more flexible if you have wasta, or know someone who has wasta. Also, a bit of wasta can smooth or speed up business transactions, bureaucratic issues, and other official procedures. At its best (or worst, depending on your point of view), a good dose of wasta could keep you out of jail or save you from other unpleasant consequences of dubious activities.
The common English expression "it's not what you know but who you know ... " is a rough equivalent of wasta.
On the wasta scale (not that there is an official one), things that can make a difference in the Syria are your nationality, your profession, who you work for, who you know, your political position in the country, your connections to people in positions of authority. Money and how long you have lived in the Syria don't usually directly affect your wasta level but indirectly they do since longer term residents may have built up a larger network of high-wasta friends, and rich people often associate with other rich people who may be high-wasta individuals.
Many expat residents learn about wasta through a driving experience. In simple terms, the more wasta someone has, the less likely they are to cop a fine and/or be blamed if there's an accident. Wasta can result in some unusual situations for example, green lights were actually red when you went through them because the person who crashed into you had enough wasta to change the color retroactively. Indications of higher levels of wasta on the road are dark tinted or mirror tinted windows (30% maximum is the law so anything more than that means it's likely they have enough wasta to get around this rule), number plates with fewer than 5 digits (but anyone can buy them now if they have enough cash so it's not as good an indication as in the past).
Wasta is something that many expats, especially westerners, find difficult to come to terms with but you'll find it easier to enjoy Dubai if you get used to that rather than try to fight it. And of course it helps if you can elevate your own wasta level somehow.
Wasta and Bribes
Don't confuse wasta with bribery. If you try to bribe a government official, for example a police officer who has just pulled you up for driving though somebody's garden, you should expect to be punished fairly harshly for trying to bribe them. And if the owner of the garden that you drove through has some wasta, then you'll probably be even worse off. In the business world, things may operate a little differently. Just as anywhere else in the world, the negotiation of business transactions and contracts is not always done on a level playing field, and bribes ... er gifts ... might be part of your discussions with interested parties.
Wasta also means to pull some strings. is widespread in Syria and bribery as well under Syrian baath party.
Written Jan 26, 2012
Mate in Arabic (mati)is south American drink but very popular drink in Syria,
Is drunk with Massasa (strow )and hot water.
Those who share the mate join in a kind of bond of total acceptance and friendship.
some of the benefits of drinking yerba mate tea.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Yerba mate tea is very high in antioxidants; it's got about 90% more antioxidants than green tea. Yerba mate has significant immune boosting properties. It can slow the signs of aging, detoxify the blood and prevent many types of cancer. Yerba mate also helps reduce stress and insomnia.
2. Enhances Your Ability to Focus
Proponents of yerba mate tea say that the minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, animo acids and polphenols found in this beverage have a balancing effect on the caffeine it contains. Users report increased mental energy, clarity and focus, but they also say that yerba mate doesn't cause any of the uncomfortable side effects associated with drinking caffeinated beverages, such as headaches, stomachaches and jitters.
3. Enhances Physical Endurance
The chemical compounds and nutrients in yerba mate tea affect your metabolism to make your body use carbohydrates more efficiently. This means you'll get more energy from the food you eat. You'll also burn more of the calories your body has stored in fat cells as fuel when you drink yerba mate tea regularly. Regular yerba mate consumption also helps keep lactic acid from building up in your muscles so you can decrease post workout soreness and cut your recovery time.
4. Aids Digestion
The native peoples of South America have long used yerba mate tea as a traditional herbal remedy against digestive ailments. Yerba mate aids digestion by stimulating increased production of bile and other gastric acids. Yerba mate helps keep your colon clean for effective and efficient waste elimination, and helps reduce the stomach bacteria that can contribute to bad breath.
5. Helps You Control Your Weight
Native South American peoples have traditionally used yerba mate as part of a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise. Yerba mate has stimulant qualities to help you feel full sooner after you begin eating, and it slows your digestion so that your stomach stays full longer. Combining yerba mate with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost your metabolism to burn more calories, and it can help you eat less by curbing your appetite slightly.
6. Supports Cardiovascular Health
The antioxidants and amino acids present in yerba mate help fat and cholesterol move through your bloodstream so that they don't accumulate on artery walls. Yerba mate also helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and prevents blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke.
Updated Nov 29, 2011
Syria is a Muslim country and therefore Damascus has many mosques. religious Muslims must pray 5 times a day (called the salaah).
The imam of the mosque called the muezzin, climbs to the top of the minaret (tower) and call for people to pray.
The call to prayer can be very loud, guaranteed to wake you up unless you are a very heavy sleeper!
Make sure your hotel is far from a Mosque
Written Jun 26, 2011
Arak عرق is the traditional drink in Syria.~50%-63% Alc. Vol./~100-126 proof
The taste of Arak is very close to the taste of Raki
Arak is a clear beverage that is made from grapes.
The Arak (Araq) is a very strong beverage with more than 40% alcohol so beware !
You can drink the Raki alone but you can also add water or ice and the Arak changes the color to a white or pearl.It served with salad or snacks.
Written Jun 13, 2011
Be aware that there no stops for minibus (van) except the main or start point,you can stop it by rasing your hand,or giving a sign that you want to stop it and when you are on board you can also ask the driver wherever you want.
No ticket required You pay cash ONLY when you are on board.Bear in mind the front board of the bus is ONLY writen in arabic you need to askdriver or any body on board if it pass through your wanted location They are friendly and wil guide you to your wanted destination,make sure you have local currency to pay.
Written Jun 8, 2011
A tip for the waitress or taxidriver?
In Damascus or in Syria in General, it is up to you to give tips to the waitress in a restaurant (if he/she was friendly and helpfull and the food was good of cours). They need the tips to live since the wage is very little.
In bars and café's some people give a tip, others don't.The servers will appreciate it if you do.
It is common to give the taxidriver a tip. Only if they were nice and friendly, of course!
Never give a tip if someone asks for it.The amount of the tip is not specific you decide how much to tip.:-)
Updated Jun 8, 2011
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