Tag Archive: Syria

Two Boys, Arm in Arm, in Aleppo, Syria—Before the War (Photo of the Day)

Two boys in Aleppo--friends or brothers--enjoying a peaceful moment together

I came across this photo a few days ago and was transported back in time to Aleppo, Syria, in 2010–when I had the opportunity to travel there. Before the war. When life was peaceful. These boys and the looks on their faces caught my eye, leading me to share the photo. When/Where I Met the…

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7 Trips I (Almost) Regret Not Taking–and Whether I’ll Go in the Future #travel #ttot

Las Cajas National Park

Have you ever traveled somewhere and opted not to visit the country next door or to take that highly recommended day or side trip that you easily could have squeezed in? This has happened to me a number of times. In some cases, I wanted to take the trip and couldn’t. In others, I wasn’t …

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Peacetime Reflections: a Photo Journey Through the Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria

Umayyad Mosque--Damascus, Syria

I took these photos of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, two years ago and am happy that I can share them with you now. I feel fortunate to have visited a mosque that’s so important in terms of history and religion. It was built around 700 AD and, according to many sources, is in…

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Remembering Syria: What It Was Like Before the War

Street Scene, Aleppo

Syria, a country I was fortunate to travel to in 2010, has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m sad about what’s going on there…worried about the people I met and their loved ones, as well as the general population. Like everyone else, I’m wondering when the hellish civil war is finally going to…

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Random Travel Moment #4: Meeting an Arnold Schwarzenegger Lookalike

Meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger

When I first spotted him in the Aleppo Souq (market) in Syria, I thought–he looks like a body builder. An Arnold Schwarzenegger lookalike, perhaps, but not exactly. See, he was built. Really built. And I’d never seen anyone quite like that in the Middle East. And I was taken aback by it. I Tried Not…

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Hama, Syria’s Water Wheels: Wild, Weird and Wonderful?

Wheels Up Close

It’s a sort of pretty city that almost feels like a small town where time has possibly stood still. Its norias–ancient water wheels–are from the 13th century yet somehow they’re still spinning today. And grinding loudly, the way they do, almost sounding as if they’re groaning. Some are right there in the town center; others are…

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SWF in Syria (4): Tips for a Great Trip to This (‘Bad Boy’) Country

Daddy Syria

As you’ve seen in this series, it’s easy to fall in love with alleged ‘bad boy’ country Syria and have the time of your life there—whether you’re a man or a woman.

I did, after all, and I’m a SWF.

Before you go, though, there are a few things you should know that will help make your first trip a great one.

As awesome as Syria is to visit (cool video here), he does have a few issues you should know about in advance.

Most of these tips are unisex; some are specific to women.

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SWF in Syria (3): Juicy Details of My 2nd Date

Turkish bath in Damascus

As you read in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, within just a few days of arriving in Syria, I was pretty smitten with Damascus and then, torn between two…husbands.

I was also torn between staying with there and checking out his slightly conservative brother Aleppo and the rest of the country.

Moving On

I made the tough decision and moved on from the great city—as wonderful as he was—and began my date with Aleppo and all the other great places I could squeeze in.

I was told that he (Aleppo) was “wonderful,” but also “a bit conservative.” I didn’t care. If it didn’t work out, I could just….move on.

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SWF in Syria (2): Torn Between Two Husbands

Syrian actor

Sure I was a SWF in Syria, but I wasn’t there to meet men. In fact, that was the last thing on my mind.

So how’d I end up with with 2 husbands…in 1 day?

Well, it began quite innocently in Damascus, a city I fell for rather quickly.

I was lingering over breakfast in the hotel courtyard, enjoying the quiet and the cool morning air and reflecting on how much I loved the city and almost wanted to commit to him (it) and to stay longer, perhaps enrolling in Arabic course.

But I was feeling a bit torn….between him and his more conservative brother Aleppo (and the rest of the country).

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SWF in Syria (1): First Date & Still Smitten

Krak des Chevaliers (crusader castle)

In some ways, traveling to Syria was like going on a blind date…with someone who looks like a bad boy on the outside, but is actually a great guy on the inside.

Of course, I didn’t know that when I met him for the first time.

People Warned Me
I’d been warned that he was a cousin or nephew of the Axis of Evil brothers and so, when I met him and his family at the border, I did hesitate for a moment. First of all, it wasn’t a very romantic setting for a first date. He–the bad boy father–looked a little intimidating–especially in the family photos.

Second, he (daddy) made me pay for the date–$130 for the visa. And then the chaperone uncle, the border official, didn’t exactly give me the warm and fuzzies.

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