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19
Mar

eskenderun copy

It is one year exactly since the Syrian revolution began and one year and a half since I last visited. I can no longer remember where Eskenderun is exactly and in fact, it is not exactly a diner. Simply a tiny place like many in Damascus where they serve a few mezze dishes and grilled meats (over charcoal of course) except that their food is better than even in very good upmarket restaurants. It was recommended by the wonderful Lina Sinjab although when I entered and saw what looked like a crummy take-away place with plastic sheets over the tablecloths — I have mine under! — I wondered if we really wanted to eat there. But I trusted Lina’s taste and we stayed. And boy, am I glad we did. If it wasn’t the best meal of my week there, it was definitely one of the best, made even more so by the element of surprise. As you can see from the picture we didn’t leave much on our plates. I just hope that we will soon be able to go back, after the duck and his acolytes have been booted out of the presidential palace and sent on their way to the Hague!


10
Dec

serjilla-beautiful children copy

Today is Human Rights Day but there are many countries where such a notion does not exist including Syria where I used to spend my summers as a child; and where I ran culinary tours until the revolution started. So many children like these two beautiful ones have been killed by a monstrous regime that has no respect for human life let alone human rights, while many of those who have escaped death have been brutalised and humiliated simply because they want their dignity and freedom. Sadly, the International community is still nowhere near taking any meaningful action to protect the protesters. As a result, more people are killed, arrested, tortured, raped, being made homeless and this on a daily basis. The videos coming out of Syria are getting more and more gruesome. Today, and every day for that matter, I think of all the people I have met on my trips there, like the gorgeous children and the stern old man in the picture below and I wonder if they are suffering, or indeed if they are still alive. And of course I think of all those who are suffering and I would like to dedicate this post to my fellow Syrians wishing that a new order is established very soon where human and other rights are respected.

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