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March 20, 2007



Ammar, my wife who has visited Syria and has cousins living there has told me about the souk quarters in Damascus, I have never been to the ME , and it was on our to do list to travel there in the next two years.

My first question is in which quarter of the city is this happening? What is its arabic name? When is this demolition expected to happen, as i guess we might never see it!

My mother is in posession of some very old photos in 1970, with me and my grandfather, he took me on a trip to syria as a two year old, and those photos are stunning!

Hope you are well

Ammar Abdulhamid

Thanks Kody. The demolition will cover an area called Souk al-Manakhliyeh, and souk al-Amarah, a stretch of land connecting areas outside the wall of Damascus between Bab Touma and Souk al-Hamiddieyh. It will be great to see photos of Damascus dating from 1970. Why don’t load some of them on flikr?


This is ver sad ammar just informed my wife its the same souk she spoke about!

Excuse my ignorance what is flikr?

Ammar Abdulhamid

Flickr is a service that allows you to upload and share your photos with everyone. This is a link:



Mr. Kody, if you do download thos pictures, please come back to this forum and put the link in here, to make it easy to look at since there are a lot of picture for Damscus already on "flikr"


In the past such people helped the tatar invaders to destroy damascus,may be the ancestors of bashar and maklouf....they should go back to their mountains...if not they will finish like tortured pigs...
If the fatwa of Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taymiya target this kind of people ,so he was right....

Ammar Abdulhamid

While I understand your frustration with our ruling regime Hassan, I cannot approve of the anti-Alawite sentiments. This goes against the very message of Tharwa. The Alawites are and have always been an integral part of the fabric of this country and this region, like all other religious groups that emerged here. They have suffered enough abuse on account of their beliefs. The fact that the Assads have been ruling in the name of Alawite interest merely serves to add an enormous insult to a very deep and old injury. The legitimate concerns and fears of the Alawites are being exploited by a group of people, whose first and only loyalty is to their own intrinsic greed and interests. Let’s not help this greedy lot in dividing us even further than we are already and achieve their goals. They thrive on their ability to sow discord among us, and manipulate our mutual fears and suspicions and certain outstanding historical grievances.


Ammar,i'm not sectarian and for me an alawi is like any other syrian,i know that alawites are in jail because of their patriotic stance.
My attack is only limited to the regime,the sunnis before the alawis....

Ammar Abdulhamid

Great Hassan, I am glad to hear it. I could sense that your earlier remarks were more a reflection of frustration than conviction, which is why I needed to put things in perspective. Thank you for taking the time to explain your point of view more clearly.


Ammar; ok i am meeting my mum in the next week, I will try and convince her to let me have them to scan in, she rarely lets go of family pictures in her posession!

It will take about a week and a half to do.
what if any plans has the oppostion done to adress the up coming elections?

On a side note on Syria comment there have been some wild allegations against Josh Landis by a few bloggers about his role in the incarceration of michael kilo, what is your knowledge of this if you are privy to anything? There is a lot of scuttlebutt in the last week about this.

hope you are well

Ammar Abdulhamid

Kody, I really hope you Mom accepts and that we can see these pictures soon. As for the opposition plan for elections, I guess, different groups have different plans, and we just have to wait and see. 

As for the Young-Landis Affair, well, all I can say is that both men are friends of mine, and I am all too sorry to see to which level things between them have deteriorated. I don’t doubt Josh’s integrity, but I vehemently disagree with much of his views on the Assads regime. Indeed, I think he occasionally goes overboard in his tenacious attempt at justifying their actions and defending their record. I don’t understand why that is so, and I don’t care to speculate. At the end of the day, the cause of the Syrian opposition, Syria’s dissidents and Syria’s freedom from injustice, corruption and tyranny cannot be truly championed except by the relevant protagonists, and in the face of all odds and countless academic readings and mis-readings, not to mention policy-recommendations, all often dressed in an allegedly objective and realist attire.



Truly you have attained enlightenment, and you are a pure soul.

I often also fail to see Josh's arguments sometimes and he justifies the regimes actions, I have some hunches but i am too demure to cast these aspersions without facts. Because we can only deal in facts. only by debating the real issues we as protagonists ( with the regime ) and unfortunately against each other can we truly move forward. This has been a really sad week.

You just reminded me about what Khalil Gibran said about clothes and attire by your last statement, to often if we scratch the surface of many mid east commentators, rarely would we see any one naked, but often covered and dressed with their stances and misgivings and their biases.

Talk later

Hammam Yousef

Hello Ammar,
In the end, I found some time to blog on the subject of Old Damascus, but in Arabic I am afraid!
I hope more and more people will show up and express their love for Damascus, and I hope we won't see any disasters taking its toll on her.
Here is the post,


ok, this looks a bit promising. We'll see.


case study: King Faisal Road

About the Seminar
The Damascus 2020 Seminar aims to offer an open platform for various governmental and non-governmental entities and all individuals
concerned to present and discuss how Damascus should look like in year 2020.
The seminar will be organised by the British Syrian Society and the Municipal Administration Modernisation Program under the
patronage of the Prime Minister with participation from:
Governorate of Damascus
Governorate of Rural Damascus
Ministry of Local Administration and Environment
Ministry of Transport
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Culture
Ministry of Housing
Housing Establishment
The general company of researches and technical studies
University of Damascus
Friends of Damascus
Engineers syndicate
The chamber of commerce
The chamber of industry
The chamber of tourism

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