Anybody been to Damascus?

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Mar 20th, 1998, 08:10 PM
  #1
sandy
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Anybody been to Damascus?

I have a female friend who wants to go to Damascus alone and rent a car while there. I think she's out of her mind. Is she?
 
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May 27th, 1998, 12:44 AM
  #2
Sharon
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As someone who is living in the Middle East I am CERTAIN your friend had lost it. It's an unstable place (politically-wise) and I if you still want a taste of the area I recommend either Cairo or Jerusalem.
 
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Jul 11th, 1998, 01:54 AM
  #3
Nils
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I have not been to Damascus. But on norwegian radio a real globetrotter said that the Syrian people is the most friendly in the world. Damascus was described as fantastic. But you surely will have to have an respectful approach in such a country. They are suspicious towards the West (and they have some reasons for it). But if you treat them with the respect, you will have an experience for lifetime the globetrotter told us (he has a weekly travel magazine in the norwegian radio). Nils
 
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Aug 10th, 1999, 03:10 PM
  #4
Nicole
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I have just returned from a trip to Damascus and greater Syria. Your friend should not have any trouble if she wears a wedding ring. A married women traveling alone should get very freindly assistance. A single women will be assumed she is "available" if she is alone. It is a wonderful place to visit.
 
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Dec 9th, 1999, 07:46 AM
  #5
Heather Burles
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Hi. In 1995 I bought a one-way ticket to Damascus. I found a small house to rent and a tutor to teach me some Arabic, and then I travelled around the country. I claimed I was married but did not wear a wedding ring. My boyfriend came over for a three-week visit and I found it easier to travel alone than with him, because when I was alone I could speak with Syrian men and with Syrian women. When I was with him, Syrian men would only speak to him, and Syrian women wouldn't speak to either of us. Your friend is definitely not crazy. Driving is a bit nervewracking in the cities but otherwise fine. Syria is a wonderful place. The people are friendly and hospitable.

I recommend your friend read "Smouldering Incense, Hammered Brass: A Syrian Interlude", a book I wrote about my experiences in Syria. The publisher's web site is:
http://www.turnstonepress.com/new_books/incense.html
 
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Dec 14th, 1999, 10:00 AM
  #6
T
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Definitely not mad. Syria itself is perfectly stable, with the sort of incredibly low crime rate that only authoritarian dictatorships can manage. And certainly easier than Egypt as single woman.
The wedding ring clears up any potential misunderstandings before they arise, but she should also remember the dress code - no elbows, knees and certainly not neck visible.
 
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