Entries by Admin 2

On The Road with C. E. S. Palmer

Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber   In her 1937 book ‘The Syrian Deseret: Caravans, Travel and Exploration’, Christina Phelps Grant described an ‘experimental trip’ between Damascus and Baghdad undertaken by a group of interested individuals. These included Mohammed al-Bassam, a wealthy Baghdad merchant, Major D. McCallum, the British liaison officer with the French Haut-Commissariat in […]

President Shukri al-Quwatli Speech on 17 April 1946

My fellow countrymen… Today, the bright sun of liberty shines on your homeland, so only your flag flutters and only your banner rises high in its skies. This is the day of righteousness, the day of proud independence, the day in which the occupier sees his schemes crumbling down. This is the day of great […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

Syrian Oral History: Racing against time and war

Dimashq Blog | Fadi Esber In the late 1960s the American University of Beirut launched the first project of its kind in the Middle East on Oral History. The pioneering endeavor continued up until the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in the mid-1970s, with only a handful of Lebanese and Syrian notables interviewed. It remains as […]

The Treasures of the National Museum of Damascus

Dr. Hayssam Kadah | Originally published in Born in Damascus This 17 cm x 22 cm book is a reasonably concise introduction to the National Museum of Damascus. The copy in my possession is the second edition of an English translation by Dr. George Haddad, the original work was composed in French by Dr. Selim […]

Generations-old tradition of handicrafts evaporates in Syria

Sami Moubayed | Originally published in Gulf News The current war in Syria has reduced entire cities to rubble and destroyed many of the country’s historic treasures. Apart from the destruction, entire industries and handicraft traditions are in danger of extinction. Many of these handicraft traditions, which have been passed down through generations, cannot be […]