215 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 33 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Syria: Walking Tour of Beautiful Damascus

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   1 comment
Message Eva Bartlett
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

(Image by Eva Bartlett)   Details   DMCA


Great day of walking yesterday. I had things to do, but also many pleasant encounters, from morning till late afternoon.

Morning encounters included greeting people I've gotten to know in this area-some from 2014, others more recently.

Ran into an older friend, Joseph, who was on his pay to buy pickles from a vendor near Bab Touma square so I walked and talked with him. While we walked, I asked if he knew where I could find incense, so he turned around and led me to a hole-in-the-wall spice shop which indeed sold it.

At the cart selling pickled vegetables, Joseph offered one to me but, although I love strong flavours, pickle is not one of them. I declined saying I preferred maqdous (the gorgeous walnut and chili-stuffed mini eggplants). I should have known better: Joseph then told me he'd bring me some home-made maqdous soon. We parted ways and I as I waited for a friend to join me, I watched life go on around me, albeit much quieter than usual.

I was curious about bakeries, whether they were functioning, whether they were producing enough bread-mainly due to the tweet of an Istanbul-based war propagandist recently, who claimed the government isn't supplying bread and people are forming long lines in desperation.

Well, that is patently not true. You will see lines around government bakeries, but I've seen that always here, nothing new: because the government-subsidized bread is so damn cheap (50 Syrian pounds/big bag of bread) that people are willing to stand and wait for their turn.

So with a friend, we headed to one of my many government subsidized bakeries in the area to find no lines: a few days or more ago, the government started a distribution program, to cut down on people lining up in public these days.

This was explained to us by men we met outside a bakery that makes government-subsidized bread.

To prevent crowds, the government has for each neighbourhood someone responsible for distributing bread. The families are registered, including the number of people. For every 3 or 4 people, they receive 8 pieces of bread, etc.

Each bag of 8 pieces is 50 liras. Currently, the blackmarket rate for the Syrian pound is around 1000 liras to the US dollar. So 50 liras is a negligible amount of money, even for the poorest families.

"I bought this fine bread today, no waiting lines And for the value for money, I imagine you and your whole family would fight to secure a position in line if it's available in your country. " ~@iadtawil (Twitter)

(Image by Eva Bartlett)   Details   DMCA

In walking around, I came across a food market (souq al-Thawra) that was full of beautiful produce and life, and where I picked up some healthy looking vegetables, and a hyacinthe plant, one of my favourites.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Eva Bartlett Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Republished from Eva Bartlett In Gaza:  Eva is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Visit her personal (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

"We Will Never Forget" the Ethnic Cleansing at the Hands of the Kurds

After US Killing of Iran's Soleimani, Narrative Control on Social Media is Getting Worse

Mainstream Media Contributor is a Terrorist Mouthpiece

Why Do You Support Syria? (Plus Video Playlist)

Interview On #FreeAssange Vigil

Lovely Encounters in Sevastopol, Crimea

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend