Crossing the street
It can be very difficult to cross a street in Aleppo. I had been i Lebanon before coming to Aleppo the first time and there cars slowed down if a person had started to cross the street. I soon found out that this was not the case in Syria. The cars don't slow down even though someone has started to cross a street. Be prepared to run!
How's your Arabic?
It can be difficult making yourself understood in a taxi - get that pronunciation wrong and the driver is very likely to have no idea of what you asking for or where you want to go.
Two things you can do - ask at your hotel for a card with their address, most places will have one or they will write it down for you and similarly, when you are heading out from your hotel, as well as asking them to write the address of the place you are going, ask how the words are pronounced. It really is important to get those sounds right - say "Sissi "Street and you won't be understood, but say "Zeezee" and you should have no problem.
Simple really, but when it's late at night and three taxidrivers in a row have have looked at you in total puzzlement, you'll wish you had that little bit of paper with you.
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Watch your Clothes!!!
If you are a girl or a woman and you are visiting the old City parts or central or public places, please don’t forget to ware long jeans and light but covering shirts even if it’s summer time and it’s too hot….
As people there will look at you rudely and you’ll feel yourself as if you’re from another planet…and you don’t need that!!!
But there’s no problem to ware whatever you want when you’re going with your boyfriend or Husband...
But you can’t avoid the rude looks in that case neither.
In the modern City part you can make yourself at home , and ware anything you wish.
A very safe city
Aleppo is a very safe city and there are no dangers to walk around anywhere at any time.
I met many solo female travellers and none of them reported any special hassle as well.
Syrian people are always well educated and very kind with the foreigners.
Well, No Danger...
Well, no danger whatsoever but the communication could be a problem sometimes.
Not everybody could speak English & it pays to learn a few basic Arabic words.
When you ask for a place, please let a pen & a paper handy; Ask the locals to write them down in Arabic so that you can show what's written on that piece of paper instead of saying the wrong pronunciations !
- Budget Travel
beware of Mohammed Ali in Aleppo
There's a man in Aleppo runs trips,hires cars and I've recieved many complaints about his bad dealings with people.He's mean and cheater and I'll advice everybody not to deal with that man .here are his details:
EBLA TRANSPORTATION BY MOHAMMED ALI
MOBILE: 00963 94 405217
His bad sevice includes charging extra money than the agreement,bringing 11 seats minivan while you spoke about 14 seats,fake rates on exchanging...so don't be another victim of this man.I don't like the idea of mentioning names but this time I find my self forced to do accodring to the number of complaints about that man.
acid attack against 12 year old child
We visited Aleppo, we have spent 20 years in the Middle East and speak fluent Arabic and respect the 'culture'
Our 12 year old daughter was attacked with acid as we walked in the souq. The acid burnt her clothes and her skin. The attack took place near the Hotel Halabi
We asked for help, for the police and medical assistance - no one would help us.
It was a devastating thing to happen
Our daugher was dressed modestly and walking with her father while I was a few steps behind.
An innocent 12 year old chid with her father and mother and they threw acid at her.
NO danger, NO fear... You can go out any time at night, the taxis are available. The streets are clean, and the most important thing that people will help you and lead you to any place; they are so friendly! So pack your bags now and visit the safest and the most fascinating city in the world (MEET ESSALAMEH!!!).
This happens too often to me when walking around in The Souqs !
Even if you want to just look, the shopkeepers will ask you to buy the things that you look at !
Make sure to say, "La !"...As usual when visiting The Middle East anyway.
Some shopkeepers took the things that I was looking at, put them in a plastic bag & tossed it me & said the price !
We would feel guilty if we don't buy it, maybe that's what they thought ?
They will start saying that they didn't have any business for that day or the children hadn't eaten anything for the day etc etc.
Yes, of course I felt sorry for them, of course I would love to help but money was as tight for me !
Would they thought of that ?
- Budget Travel
Well, My Experience...
Don't talk anything religious or politic with anybody in Aleppo !
If they ask about your country, maybe you should lie about it ?
I had a good laugh when I met a German girl who was studying Arabic language in Jordan & she had travelled around The Middle East extensively.
She had a piercing just under her lips; I asked her whether the people around The Middle East asked her some questions about it.
She said, "Yes, of course !"
I asked her what was her reply ?
She said, "Oh ! Everybody in my country has a piercing under their lips !"
We had a good laugh !
- Budget Travel
Be aware that haggling down the price of any thing you buy,The seller,vendor mostly raise the price to double or something because the vendor knows very well the buyer will try to haggle it down. It is part of the culture,cloth,taking a taxi,souveniurs,even the hotel price...etc from 20% to 50%.Do your best ;)
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.
Is it acceptable to drink alcohol? What about drug
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..
Driver horns,Trafiic and busy at night
Aleppo is normal to hear car and taxi drivers use the car horn to push the other drivers in front to move further,even there is no traffic so my tip is to make sure you have earcotton if your hotel is near high road to be able to asleep the drivers use horn24/7 they do not care if people are sleep at night.
Information on the visa) visa)
First - General instructions for tourists visiting the country Syrian:
Must be on the incoming Arab and foreign to be in possession of the following:
1. A passport valid for a period of not less than one month after the expiry of the visa to be issued by a state recognized by Syria, and he does not have an Israeli visa, and not to be the name of the holder on the list of those barred from entering Syria.
2. Entry visa or transit visa issued by the Syrian embassy or consulate in the country of origin of foreign or place of residence, visas are granted entry or transit by the Centers for immigration and passports at the border to nationals of foreign countries where there is no diplomatic representation in Syria and foreigners with permanent residence provided they show their residency cards.
3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions and exit visas for diplomatic and courtesy and task.
4. Visa: It is of two types
- Six months: valid for one or multiple trips can be an exception granted for one year.
- Three months: valid for one time only.
5. Transit visa: They are two
- Three months valid for a single trip.
- Three months valid for multiple entries.
6. May include entry or transit visa foreign wife and minor children to be the names and ages in the space provided.
7. A foreigner who wants to stay in Syria for more than fifteen days from the date of his entry, see the Department of Immigration and Passport Department or its branches in the governorates to apply for a residence permit
8. Permission to stay directly to both the Arabs and foreigners born in Syria, and wives of Syrian nationals
9. In case of loss or damage to the residence card holder to review the Department of Immigration and Passport Department in Damascus branches in the governorates, within three days from the date of loss or damage to give them a new card instead
10. Permission is not granted a license to reside and work on those wishes to work in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic to obtain permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
11. On every Arab or foreigner over fifteen years of age and was recorded on a card and a parent to get a new card similar to an independent and parents in terms of type, duration, date, and the remaining fees regardless of whether a passport of its own.
12. Not entitled to the Arabs and foreigners who have special or ordinary residencies absence abroad for more than six months.
13. Not entitled to the Arabs and foreigners who have temporary residencies and an exit visa to return the country to stay outside for more than three months.
Lebanese citizens should review the police station within six days from the date of entry into Syria to obtain an ID card to facilitate their stay and movement in Syria.
Secondly - facilities and exemptions offered to tourists arrivals:
1. Allows for Arab nationals to enter the Syrian Arab Republic and traffic which is the requirement to obtain an entry visa or transit is sufficient by registering assets "in the records of arrivals and departures after Touchih passports or travel documents or tickets Lebanese nationals who enter under the ID card or output is in the hearts of certified assets under the seal of entry or leave.
2. "Foreigners coming to the tourism of the categories is listed under the books issued by the offices and travel agencies from the country coming from individuals or groups and overprinted seals these offices and under the passport mass stuck on it are granted or passport for each individual of them, on the condition that properly licensed tourist offices in diameter and depart on the responsibility and grant visas to those for free.
3. Citizens of all Arab states, Gulf Emirates and Sultanates from entry and transit visas, residence permits and exit visas.
4. Are exempted from duties:
¨ Foreign and Arab students officially registered in one of the recognized universities.
¨ experts and Arab and foreign contractors.
¨ journalists and correspondents of news agencies.
¨ Non diplomat workers in the political and consular organizations foreign and Arabic.
¨ The parents of the member of diplomatic or consular mission accredited in the country and his children and wife, brothers and sisters and his followers of governesses and servants.
¨ Palestinian refugees and their minor children.
¨ Foreigners and Arabs whom the director of the Department of Immigration and Passports Department exempt them for special considerations: courtesy, or lack of physical ability.
5. Exemption of Syrian Arab citizens overseas foreign passport holders to obtain a residence and ask those who have not registered them up in the records of civil and subjected to an exit visa when they want to leave Bjoisathm foreign month after the entry after presenting the approval of recruitment for those who are of military age and identity card for those who exceed fifteen and assigning them to pay, scheduled to leave on departure like Syrian citizens and allows them to enter foreign Bjoisathm if the entry is stamped with features of the Syrian Arab missions abroad, and given the features needed by the Centers for free from the border.
Facilities offered to investors:
1. Raising the price of neighboring countries, translated in the bank to the equivalent of almost foreign markets.
2. Increase the amount to be replaced from the remaining foreign currency with travelers when they leave the country and through / / 15 days.
3. Exemption coming to the diameter of the push / 100 / USD and that the bank on the drawer taken from all comers.
4. The bank is working on the completion of the credit cards.
1. A foreigner to enter the gifts and personal effects and tools for travelers and intended for personal use without any customs duties.
2. Allows car owners residing permanently abroad and coming to Syria with the intention of temporary residence and enter their cars nicknames registered lawfully in the country of exile under a power of attorney by using the driving tourist outside the country of registration of customs duties according to the following:
· Fees due for the car under a temporary entry card for a period of / 15 / day of $ / 1685 / l. Q is switched equivalent amount of / 40 / USD or equivalent in other foreign currencies + / / 30 dollars for the obligatory insurance of car to be paid to the escrow company Syria.
· Duties of the book granted to cars registered in the Arab countries / 5035 / l. Q switch is equivalent / 117 / USD or the equivalent in other currencies accepted + / 30 / dollar insurance company pay for mandatory insurance.
· Allows for a wife or a family member or adult to bring a car to drive it in the Syrian Arab Republic provided they meet the conditions of residence outside the country.
1. Travelers coming from places infected by yellow fever when entering a vaccination certificate against this disease.
2. Those wishing to stay in Syria for a period exceeding one year, free certificate of AIDS (AIDS).
3. The tourist who brings a pet to accompany his health certificate in English authenticated in his country but for cats and dogs must be accompanied by a certificate of vaccination against rabies.