Damascus in words
It's not often a description of Damascus captures me completely. But Qunfuz has done it. This deserves to be published.
If you have never been to Damascus - read this, it will take you there.
If you love Damascus but you're not there - read this, it will take you home.
If you're in Damascus - read this, it will make you cry, then go out into the street and give the city a big hug.
"Damascus certainly deserves cultural capital status more than some cities that have held the title in previous years. After Beirut and Cairo, Damascus has the best bookshops in the Arab world. Syria has always boasted an impressive range of poets and musicians, and produces TV dramas which are of much higher quality than the Egyptian competition. Its taxi drivers can recite classical and contemporary poetry. Its pop singers sing Nizar Qabbani, the most influential and best loved modern Arab poet. Damascus is a city in which your host is likely to serenade you with his lute after dinner. And it is, as the tourism ministry likes to repeat, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world."
The full piece is here: Cultural Capital.