Entries by Admin 2

From Balfour to Truman: How a pledge became a reality

Fadi Esber | Originally published in Gulf News Enlisting the support of Britain, then the world’s leading power, to the cause of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was the Zionist World Organisation’s biggest achievement since its establishment in 1897. On November 2, 1917, while a new world order was being forged in the cauldron […]

Damascus During World War II

Episode Eight: Roosevelt and the Syrians Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber While oil was a strategic reason for US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to jumpstart American interest in the Arab world, there were also a variety of other factors, including the US President’s commitment to ridding the Middle East of any Nazi influence. In January 1941, […]

Greater Damascus under the French Mandate: Maaloula

Dr. Hayssam Kadah | Originally published in Born in Damascus Maaloula is a small town located 56 kilometers northeast of Damascus. As is the case with almost every human settlement in the Qalamoun region, two factors determined the choice of its position: a geographical one (the presence of fresh water) and a historical one (the search for security). Christianity remained […]

Carbon nanotechnology in an 17th century Damascus sword

Originally published in National Geographic In medieval times, crusading Christian knights cut a swathe through the Middle East in an attempt to reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslims. The Muslims in turn cut through the invaders using a very special type of sword, which quickly gained a mythical reputation among the Europeans. These “Damascus blades” were extraordinarily […]

Damascus During World War II

Episode Seven: The Rise of the National Party Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber Six months before Election Day of 1943, the National Bloc was disbanded and renamed the National Party, at the orders of Shukri al-Quwatli (FO 226/240/9/4/180, Memorandum to FO, 29 April 1943). It was an audacious decision and earnest attempt at breaking with the […]


Dr. Hayssam Kadah | Originally published in Born in Damascus The first systematic exploration of Damascus is credited to the German archaeologists and historians Carl Watzinger (1877-1948) and Karl Wulzinger (1886-1949) who devotedly and rigorously researched and described the city’s monuments  attempting in the process a restitution of its ancient urban fabric. Their field work […]

Preserving the Past in Damascus Builds Hope for the Future

Historian and political analyst Sami Moubayed discusses his efforts to preserve the Syrian capital’s archives and cultural history and the war’s impact on the country’s many ancient sites and artifacts. By Alessandria Masri | Originally published in Syria Deeply Long before Damascus became Syria’s capital, the city was conquered by Alexander the Great, redesigned by ancient […]

Damascus During World War II

Episode Six: The Presidency of Sheikh Taj Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber Under pressure from Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle decided to restore a limited form of self-rule to Syria. There was only one politician in Damascus who still had power and presidential ambitions. His name was Taj al-Din al-Hasani. Approaching his sixtieth birthday, the ex-Prime Minister […]

Damascus During World War II

Epsidode 5: Churchill’s Man in Damascus Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber The new Syria that emerged in the midst of World War II was now run not by a Frenchman but an Englishman named Edward Spears. He was Great Britain’s new ambassador to Syria and Lebanon, handpicked for the job by Churchill. Spears knew almost nothing […]

Damascus During World War II

Episode 4: The Allies Take Damascus Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber On 29 May 1941, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden walked into Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. He was expected to address the major developments of Syria. Damascus was all ears. Reflecting the thoughts of Prime Minister […]