Memories of Syria

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on my blog — more than two months. I needed time to think. I needed time away from the place I had invested so many emotions into. I’m not sure if after all this thinking I know what to say, I just know I have to write what’s on my mind and in my heart.

I want to dedicate this post to the Syrian people. Not the anti-government or the pro-government camp. This post is not about taking sides or gaining political capital. Reports of what is happening in Syria are as conflicting as they are endless. I want to keep this post simple: this is about saying thank you to the Syrians who hosted me in their country with open arms. It’s about the friends I made and didn’t get to say goodbye to. It’s about the complete strangers who invited me into their homes to share a meal. It’s about remembering the Syria that is beautiful, kind, and loving. It’s about the Syria that gives endlessly without receiving.

I want to give special thanks to everyone in Aleppo, my home for seven months, and undoubtedly, Syria’s food capital. I will always keep memories of you in my heart, until forever.

لقد مرت فترة من الوقت منذ أن دونت شيئا، أكثر من شهرين.. احتجت الى الوقت لأفكر، وقتاً بعيداً
عن المكان الذي بذلت فيه الكثير من المشاعر، و لست متأكدا بعد كل هذا التفكير ماذا سأقول تحديدا، لكني اعلم أنني يجب ان أكتب ما يدور في قلبي و عقلي.
أريد أن أهدي هذه التدوينه للشعب السوري، ليس للموالاة او المعارضه -فقط الشعب- .. هذه التدوينه ليست للانحياز الى جانب ما، او نيل الرأسمال السياسي، التقارير التي تصلنا من سوريا متضاربه للغايه، لذلك أريد أن أُبقي الهدف من هذه التدوينة بسيطاً، هو القول شكرًا لجميع السوريين الذين استضافوني في بلدهم بأذرع مفتوحة، هو عن الأصدقاء الذين كسبتهم و لم يتسن لي فرصة وداعهم، هو عن الغرباء الذين دعوني الى منازلهم لمشاركتهم وجبة طعام، هو عن تذكر سوريا الجميلة، المعطائه و المحبه، عن سوريا التي أعطتني بلا حدود دون مقابل..
  أريد ان أوجه شكرًا خاصا لحلب، التي احتضتنتي لسبعة اشهر، المدينة التي بلا شك عاصمة الطعام السوري..
سأُبقي ذكرياتك في قلبي الى الأبد..
daily bread
proud mom
proud mom
hide & seek
campfire with friends
Aleppo at night
group shot
hiking in Syria
heart of gold
Syrian desert
fellow photographers
farmers market
farmers market
shopping in the souk
my favorite smoothie place
my *amazing* students
Syrian Jasmine (ياسمين سوري)

16 thoughts on “Memories of Syria

  1. How wonderful that you have such sweet memories from a wonderful place. I would love someday to visit the homeland of my maternal grandparents. Thanks so much for sharing them with me, the closest I have ever come to experiencing Aleppo so close. Please continue to write about Syria, que Dios te bendiga siempre.

  2. Tony, given what the Syrian government and the pro-government camp are doing to those who claim for freedom and democracy in their country, I think it’s a good idea to take sides. A very good idea indeed.

  3. Lovely words and photos, as always! I’m glad you were able to have such an amazing trip.

  4. lovely dedication…was hoping you would post some more authentic Aleppine/Syrian recipes..?

  5. i love your photos of syria. it’s so sad to hear news about the syrian political turmoil nowadays. i only wish for the best and safety for the people of syria. insyallah.

  6. تحية من شعب مصر الى شعب سوريا الباسل الصامد امام الظلم .. متمنين له النصر والخروج من المحنة سالمين ان شاء الله

  7. As a Syrian i want to tell you that i’m glad that you enjoyed your trip to Syria and you are always welcome in Syria.

  8. I visited many countries around the Mediterranean, unfortunately not Syria, and I experienced this warmth and friendship you describe. It was an unforgetable experience for me since I live in Athens a city that has all the pros and cons of the other Metropolitan cities around the world. I just want to say that I feel very sorry with all that is going on in Syria. Voltaire said:”I disagree with what you say, but I will defend with my death your right to say it”. I believe that all people have the right to freedom of speech, choice and education and noone should be deprived of them.

  9. What beautiful photos–and stories. I’ve never been to Syria but these vicarious memories make me want to create my own there.

  10. Thank you, Cassandra. Hopefully when the situation in the country improves many people will have that opportunity. It is a beautiful place to visit– lots of rich history, delicious foods, and incredibly nice people.

  11. Antonio – We very much enjoyed your presentation on your Fulbright experience in the US at FSI today. Thank you.

  12. Hi Daniel, thank you for hosting us at FSI today. I enjoyed sharing stories from my Fulbright experience and meeting the officers who make it all happen. Despite the turn of events in Syria, it was an incredible journey and I will cherish those memories forever. Best of luck on your next post!

  13. Dear Tony,

    Your simple wards for and about syria tought my heart..
    thank you tony for every things.


  14. The whole situation there breaks my heart!

    True, everyone should have the freedom, to say and practice what they want. My concern there is as it is here in the US. I am concerned about the religious fundamentalists EVERWHERE.

    Having been brought up an armenian catholic, I am now an atheist and respect every individuals right, as long as it is NOT imposed on me.

    These pictures did bring tears to my eyes, thank you.

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