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Sunday, February 25, 2007 

Cities [updated]

Thanks to Arima, Princess Anarchy, Razan, and via Arima, Abu Fares, and via Abu Fares, Dubai Jazz for their wonderful replies to my tag, 'The City I Love'.

It showed me two things.

First, that this tagging thing is another way we're using the Syrian blogosphere to communicate with eachother. We're not just posting on our own blogs, throwing ideas into the air...instead, we're actively bouncing that ball of ideas between eachother. I really think the Syrian blogosphere is developing into our a forum, an arena that we own, and that we have the power to use to discuss the future of the country. No wonder Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak got a bit wobbly.

Ok, the second point's a bit more ethereal. It showed me that our cities mean something fundamental to who we are. And they have different meanings to each of us. But our cities do have a real character, that we can identify independently of eachother. (Portuguese poet Goncalo Tavares has written about the nature of the city, a body created by a set of individuals all pulling in different directions).

Arima's Damascus is someone who brought tears to her eyes as she returned to her, her truest love, a city of innocence, a city that could do no wrong. My Damascus.

The Angry Anarchist has given her characteristically angry anarchical take on her city, Beirut. (Although I sensed a little bit of love...the kind of love that hides between the lines in a lot of her writing...when she talked about the town of Shusha).

The grotesque I Love Life poster campaign by the Haririst reminants crops up a lot in Beirut, the Phonecian city which killed Arabism. And there's a l o t of driving.

Tartoussi Abu Fares names Tripoli as his top choice. It may be the other side of the Syria-Lebanon border, but it's only 60km away and Abu Fares treats it like home: "The Tripolitans speak with my accent and share my inherited values. This is the only place in Lebanon where the line between Syrian and Lebanese is almost nonexistent."

Dubai Jazz picks his birthplace, Aleppo, a city he calls his mother. He's now living with his mistress: Dubai.

Razan imagines Damascus. The city has become part of who she is, a city she dreams of when she is away, and which fulfils her when she is home. The pictures tell a story of smells, sounds and people. A story of dreams. Long dreams after lonely nights speaking English and French in Beirut.

Arima, the Dove of Anarchy, Razan, Abu Fares and Dubai Jazz, you crafted the little bubbles I sent into the Syrian blogosphere into beautiful works of art...thank you.

Update: Karin's written about Jerusalem.

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haha. about the driving part... i had a bad driving week... (i say this every week). :P

beirut has got to be the most road-raged city in the world.

As long as you don't have a Mercedes, oh angry one.

oh no no...
I don't.
I have a Nissan.
If our roads were manageable by bike I would've invested in a bike!

An angry anarchical driver attempting to run over motorcyclists. Now that's a sight. Bweare of the Nissan.

I think I might just stick to walking next time I'm in Beirut.

Of course this is not my first time on your blog. I read it regularly.
Thank you for this kind tribute.

Oh, I am so sorry i couldn't reply earlier..i just like the tag and i don't want to merely fill a white page!!
i want to write..

the responses were amazing, indeed.

merci Sasa :) Truly a lovely thankyou

Hi Sasa!
So you were the epicenter of this ripple-like tag? :) I must thank you and all the others in the chain (Arima and Abu Fares) for imparting me this pleasure.
And thanks for your thoughtful tribute ;)

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  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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