The real Damascene house
"Crammed together in narrow alleyways, old Damascene houses provide privacy for their owners with windows that overlook the street from only the second floor upwards. Even then, the windows are covered by a wooden khis – a hand-painted shutter which keeps curious eyes at bay."
"The bedrooms are raised a level above their doors in order to keep in as much warmth as possible during the cold winter nights. The cold air is trapped in the lower space between the door and the step, protecting the bedroom from icy drafts."
Beautiful description by Raed Jabri - the man behind the Jabri House restaurant (no comment!). He was at the forefront of the rush to convert Old City houses into restaurants.