Sunday, February 7, 2010


from the Dead Sea, we drove across the border and north through Syria to Aleppo. again, Riyad helped us out by hooking us up with a driver friend of his, Hussam, who expertly ushered us across the border. borders always make me nervous, but in his expert hands, and with Syrian visas already in our passports, we breezed through. we still didn't reach Aleppo until 1am, where the poor guy with the late night shift at the hotel took one look at the one American passport and said, "ah, so this is why you are late!" so not true, but have a joke at my expense, no worries...

next morning at the ATM, stocking up on Syrian pounds, we noticed we were the only women in line. in fact, we were practically the only women on the streets around our hotel. could have been due to the fact that we were staying in the tire district(!), but still, the lack of women out in public was a bit disconcerting...

we made our way to the Citadel, an enormous 13th century fortress (though the site it occupies is documented to have been used since the 3rd millennium BC. Abraham is said to have milked his sheep on Citadel hill) that rises impressively over the city, offering incredible 360 degree views. inside you'll find an amphitheater, hammam (sauna, jacuzzi... all the trappings of a Turkish bath), the Mamluk hall with its elaborately carved wooden ceiling, and a mosque or two. the guy handing out guides, upon finding out where we were from, said (i'm paraphrasing here), "welcome! we like Americans. screw the politicians!" amen.

nestled against one side of Citadel hill is Aleppo's famous souq. some say it's the largest covered market in the world (which is coupled with Aleppo's claim to being one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world). but what really distinguishes it is the fact that it's still used largely as a locals' market for a variety of household goods and foods. each section is devoted to a different type of goods for sale, and you'll find the scarf stalls targeting tourists not far from those selling Aleppan olive and laurel oil soap, just down the way from the butcher shops.

it's a bustling, sensory overload experience by day, filled with warm colors, the smell of soap, coffee and spices, the sound of men yelling that to look is free. and always crowded with people. but i had the opportunity to walk through at night, after the shops had closed their wooden doors. at that point, it transforms into a maze of quiet, arcaded streets, inhabited by just a few stragglers. a cool subterranean labyrinth, and an entirely different experience than souq by day.

but as fascinating as the city is, it was the people who made the experience in Aleppo. our first day wandering through the souk we happened into one store selling textiles, jewelry and such. the man there welcomed us in, and after we'd had a look around, invited us to his brother's cafe. there we found a family of sorts for the next several days, populated by a magnetic Buddhist artist and chef of delectable vegetarian dishes, a loopy British-accented (though 100% Syrian) oud player, a bespectacled intellectual with a head of curls to rival our Meg's, a few couch surfers, and a collection of Aleppo's wayward youth. they were warm and wonderful, and welcomed us in with open arms. THIS is what it's all about.


Dad said...

What amazing travelers you three are! Thanks for the vicarious tours in picture and word. From what you say, it seems that, as the NY Times article said, Aleppo is still largely off the beaten tourist track.

Mom said...

As you write, "This is what it's all about!" Lovely! It doesn't hurt that there are beautiful things to see as well. I thought at first those were stones, maybe a wall, but soap! :)

Anonymous said...

Appropriate win initially outstanding in the murderous with two backs casinos? digging this na‹ve [url=]casino[/url] commander and safe and sound conduct up online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at .
you can also gash into our up to lover [url=]casino[/url] manoeuvre at and farther in front bear show to tangled modification !
another late-model [url=]casino spiele[/url] within an eyelash of is , in complete in on territory german gamblers, bear down on via manumitted online casino bonus.

Anonymous said...

I sell a boat-program which will help you to outwit auction and to win, initially the boat was created for the Scandinavian auction but now the program can work with similar auctions: gagen ru, vezetmne ru and with ten.
The program-boat stakes for you, i.e. for this purpose it is not necessary to sit constantly at the monitor. The boat can set time when it is necessary to stake, thus you as much as possible will lower expenses for rates, and as much as possible increase the chances of a victory.

The price of the program a boat for the Scandinavian auctions 20$

For the first 10 clients the price 15$

To all clients free updating and support.

Behind purchases I ask in icq: 588889590 Max.

Mom said...

What's with Mr/Ms Anonymous? Yuck.

Dad said...

I guess there is no spam filter on blogspot.

Anonymous said...

[b]Set software LoveBots v 5.2[/b]

All for a mass mailing dating

The script is written in php5


[i]registration, account activation
manual input captures, or the solution through antikapchu
filling data accounts:
- Gulf desired photo
- Инфы about yourself
- Diary
- Sexual preference[/i]

gulyalka on questionnaires spammer on lichku
- Randomization Posts: replacement of Russian letters in Latin analogues

optimized to work in a continuous loop
check-activation-filling-spam check ..

Updates and support free of charge.

Price per set 100 wmz

For the first 10 buyers price 70 wmz (your feedback on the software).

For shopping I ask in icq: 588889590 Max.

Scrin program:




Flooding in the subject no! Write to feedback after the purchase.

Anonymous said...

I am able to make link exchange with HIGH pr pages on related keywords like [url=]bad credit loans[/url] and other financial keywords.
My web page is

If your page is important contact me.
please only good pages, wih PR>2 and related to financial keywords

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,Just registered here and looking to have a great time. I am looking for the best cash gifting program out there in the internet. Can you guide me?

Below are some sites that I found and I am not sure how much they are going to help me.
[url=]cash gifting[/url]
[url=]join cash gifting[/url]
[url=]best cash gifting program[/url]

Anonymous said...

Genial dispatch and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

Anonymous said...

after seeking all to sift throughout this without debit or culpability [url=]casino[/url] perk at the consequential [url=]online casino[/url] handbook with 10's of reborn [url=]online casinos[/url]. neighbourhood [url=]roulette[/url], [url=]slots[/url] and [url=]baccarat[/url] at this [url=]no assail casino[/url] ,
the finest [url=]casino[/url] with a vista UK, german and all from top to derriere the world. so in distribute the treatment of the insigne [url=]casino en linea[/url] hindrance us now.

Anonymous said...

It's so easy to choose high quality [url=]replica watches[/url] online: [url=]Rolex replica[/url], [url=]Breitling replica[/url], Chanel replica or any other watch from the widest variety of models and brands.

Anonymous said...

Making money on the internet is easy in the hush-hush world of [URL=]blackhat community[/URL], Don’t feel silly if you have no clue about blackhat marketing. Blackhat marketing uses not-so-popular or misunderstood avenues to produce an income online.

Anonymous said...

I am right here to help get your website off to a great commence. Do not be one of these that wished they'd accomplished it greater the first time, then take around the task, and price, of starting over. Your internet site reflects what you and your organization or pastime are all about.

I'm able to provide low-cost, user-friendly, customized designed websites for any wide variety of companies, organizations and teams.Furthermore, it should not expense a fortune to get you started. I'll aid guide you via the procedure and even alert you after i believe you might be finding in more than your head, or past your spending budget.

Listed below are some hight high quality companies for a resonable cost:

Front-End Development
Custom web site design
Affordable web site design
E-Commerce website design
Corporate Website Design
Innovative website design
Static Web Design
Website maintenance
Web site re-designs
SEO Services
Logo Design

Please look around the site for further information about the [url=]freelance web designer[/url] services that I am able to offer and to see examples of websites that I have designed



Anonymous said...

[b][url=][/url][/b] A mental wellbeing expert helps make a diagnosis of the dissociative disorder by taking a watchful private historical past in the client/patient and close relatives. It really is vital the therapist learn the details in the person's life. No laboratory checks are needed to create a analysis of dissociative disorder nor are there any bodily circumstances that has to be achieved.

[b][url=]ugg boots uk[/url][/b] As you will see all people attempting hard to court each other whether it is with roses, chocolates, gift baskets or cards… The event might be special to numerous who have just ventured right into a romance and will be searching for a indicator to get a extra promising foreseeable future. Reward baskets certainly are a vital gifting strategy when it will come any event which celebrates our heartfelt sentiments. Expressing your thoughts when accompanied by using a considerate reward would make the task simpler to the individual to speak very.

[b][url=]ugg uk[/url][/b] Moreover to its design and performance, yet another excuse the explanation I basically be sure to just take a elaborate to the tote is commonly that it is brand, Naxos. Naxos is unquestionably the most considerable and a number of abundant about the Cyclades and even famous for your impressive mountainous countryside, plenty of remote normal villages wherever by individuals however dress in common attire, area for previous looms and dwell journey fruit of your assets, various of Europe most effective older sandy seashores. Naxos is often one more superb capital with more mature chapels, monasteries along with Venetian fortifications along with louis vitton homeowners.

[b][url=]louis vuitton handbags[/url][/b] For that earlier couple of many years, wireless Bluetooth headsets have redefined what cellphone users thought they understood about compactness and design. These neat equipment are usually little ample to suit about just one ear, in addition to their types get additional glossy and present day with the day. Whilst most Bluetooth wi-fi headsets arrive within this over-the-ear model, you'll be able to locate other designs at the same time, which includes a lot more traditional headsets with bands that go powering or about the top.

[b][url=]louis vuitton bags[/url][/b] Once the cotton comes, it can be generally weaved straight into uncooked denim. This may be performed upon old-fashioned looms, looms that had been used during the 60s and prior. Weaving technological innovation has transformed given that these instances, and so raw denim weaving takes place to generally be considerably more cost-efficient, possessing the power to create even further uncooked denim out of appreciably a lot less cotton on top of that to getting capable to perform so inside of a greatly far more continuous fashion with much less squander.

Anonymous said...

[url=]XNSqRErqOMSqiQKj[/url] , TUznWsRLzg ,

Anonymous said...

For latest news you have to go to see internet and on
internet I found this website as a most excellent web page for latest updates.

Here is my site ... Zahngold Preis