Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Ok Rami, here is a new post about Al Ghoota with more photos and resources,

Al Ghouta surrounded the old city from every direction, but mainly from the east and west. To get to Damascus, you had to walk through heavenly valleys and large plains all planted with olive trees, apricot and nut trees and other fruits and all kind of vegetables.
Al-Ghouta wasn't simply a large area of "farms", it had waterfalls and great views wherever you look, and many historians believe that the first café in the world was established in Al-Ghouta in the years of 1500's.

But what was sure that it played a very important role during history:
A place where the princes and caliphs built castles, a picnic place for the Damascene, and a shelter for the revolutions against frensh occupation.

To have an idea about how big was Al-Ghouta, you have to know is that most of what we call “Modern Damascus” was a part of Al-Ghouta I will name some neighborhood that’s been built during the 70’s and till now:
Mazzeh, Malki, Fattaleh, Kafarsousseh, Dareyya, Jaramana, Harasta, Tijarah, Douma, Ghozlanieh, Al Rabweh, Set Zainab, Hojjera…..

The door is open for everyone to add the information he likes.

PS: for more information visit:


Originally uploaded by amrtheproud.

Originally uploaded by amrtheproud.

Originally uploaded by amrtheproud.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Remains Of Al-Ghoota

Originally uploaded by amrtheproud.
I was surprised to see a pure part of al Ghoota; no ugly buildings, no factories, no high pollution. Just as it used to be 80 years ago, when the old city was surrounded by an oasis and the poems described it as heaven on earth.

-When we woke up in spring time, and looked from our windows, we used to see large areas of al Ghoota covered by snow, but when we look again, we discover that that what we thought it snow was apricot flowers! -My aunt beautiful memories of Al-Ghoota are countless-Barada River was full of fishes, and people used to swim in it.

It's not only the sweet memories of people, it's a patriotic memory of a nation; The revolution against the French occupation in Damascus took Al Ghoota as a center during the 30's of the last century, and no French soldier or tank, dared to make one step in it. They had to burn large areas of trees and farms to take control and stop the revolution.
And now the Syrians are completing what the French invaders started, most of Al-Ghoota disappeared forever, and what remains is suffering from high pollution.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Al Jaware7

Originally uploaded by amrtheproud.
Just about 20 km (13 miles) from the north east of Lattakieh port, you can reach one of the most beautiful lakes in Syria; the lake of 16 Tishreen (16 November), this lake has its magical views surrounded by plants and forests.
It's also a natural reservation; I saw many kinds of birds that you rarely encounter in other Syrian regions.
The lake is also surrounded by restaurants and one hotel, the restaurants carry the same name of many Syrians series that have been shot here as Al Jawareh, Al Bawassel, Al Dawajen...
The only thing we really miss to have in this lake and in all Syrian lakes are "water activities", as yachts for example.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Call me a Kid!

Originally uploaded by amrtheproud.
(Mars 2005)
I finally decided to take my childhood friend Mamdouh with me on a hiking trip between Jaba3deen and Sednaya; he said he wanted to quit smoking so I suggested he goes out, hikes and breaths clean air.

He really wanted to know what are hiking trips about, so he accepted.
The picture I have in mind of Mamdouh, that he is a tuff guy but very nice deep inside. We started walking from Jaba3deen, it was so cold that day; The air was freezing, and we walked for hours. But as I thought exactly, Mamdouh didn't complain at all, he was joking all the time and telling his life story as all the hikers do.

But suddenly we reached a slope, as you notice from the photo, it was dangerous, but everyone boys and girls kept on walking like we're walking at home, except one guy:
The Matsho Mamdouh!!
-ehhh Amr (a trembling voice), do you know that if I slipped I could die?
- man take it easy it's not that dangerous as it look like!
-Man you have to wait for me I have to walk slowly…
I started to nag on him and make fun of him till he stared at me confidentially:
-Akhy (brother), Alf olet walad, wala olet woe3 min eljabal!
( saying thousand times he is a kid, better than saying he fell from a mount).