is an opening box, as they say in Turkey. But it is oening since the old
president Assad died and his yound, the younger Assad, took the throne.
Changes go slow, but probably that is not so bad. Too radical changed
have proven to be less good then often predicted upfront. Syria, like
Turkey, does not have a great name in the West, particularly concerning
intrenational politics and general opinion. Because of the war with Israel,
still unsolved since 1968, there has been some kind of a chronical state
of emergency in which stasi like spying became the people biggest fear.
We were welcomed most gracious in almost all places we have seen. But
I guess that is not what they mean with politics. Most people thanked
us for visiting them. It was a true event for them, and often therefor
also for us. This cocktail of people, since every country seems the build
up out of many different people, seems to be more open as it assumed.
Here nobody has VCR video. All have DVD. Even far out in the dessert.
Not because of this video stuff but Syria is known in the Arab world as
a progrssive country.
our short visit with triple agenda, we visited Allepo, Damascus and Al
Hassaka. In all places we have been hosted by friends of Nuri Iskender,
composer whom we have met in Netherlands before. It was amazing to see
all people being prepared within 30 minutes in order to get friends, get
drinks, get music and have a good time all night long.
We pass the highway near the Lebanese border where we got some sms messages,
since we have been disconnected in Syria. Not only the sms messages come
from Lebanon. Most modern music, electronics, books, and art come through
Lebanon. It is amazing to hear this about a country so much destroyed
by war between bigger neighbors. We love to visit but have no time. We
need to get back to this place with one agenda and tell you good stories
wich are relevant.
See some impresions.
: Al Maskana
Objectives : carwash, wait for partner
kilometer : 16772
relation with 80 questions : get in toch with people
is Soher SCHuker checking our where is Rob on bicycle, while we
re washing the truck. We got invited to eat, slept, got thrown
stones at by some kids and lft in the night to sleep in front
of the police station.
Objectives : Citadel
kilometer : 16656
relation with 80 questions : brilliant
citadel is located on the roads of most great concerers of human
history. It survived all of them and now is used a cultural venue
and tourist attraction. We got there on sunday and in Syria you
find influences of all religions; sunday closed.
: unknown, near Eufratus
Objectives : get impression
kilometer : 16801
relation with 80 questions : get impression
are several of this kind of villages in the dessert between the
major cities and the Eufratus, more east. besides this kind of
villages there are several nomad tent camps.
Objectives : meet the president
kilometer : 16646
with 80 Questions : Bashir Assad, the young president, has many
pictures in his country. Like his fathers and his brother who
got killed at a car accident.
Bashir is moving slowly but persistent towards a new era. This
is the biggest picture we have seen one and a half time the height
of a lamppost.
Objectives : catch the right exit
kilometer : 17511
the dessert you can find these piled up stones. Maybe they are
used to mark the right exit of the road into the dessert towards
on of many nomad camps.
The desseet is like the see. You can look into it for hours, the
sand is moving like waves.
Objectives : take the road to Baghdad
kilometer : 17479
with 80 Questions : we were on our way to Baghdad in order to
raise money for children afflicted by war. We do not have the
intention to enter Iraq, due to the extreme anarchistic and violent
Objectives : Periphery
kilometer : 17453
with 80 Questions : We were leaving town as early as possible
after the last night party. This bus driver loved our truck, and
we love his bus. In the night the use neon.
Objectives : say goodbye
kilometer : 17456
with 80 Questions : Adan and Soher took us all around in the great
city of Damascus. Unfortunately only one day. Next time we stay
longer. That is a promise. Here you see us with Adan who took
us to the edge of town.
: AL Qamisli
Objectives : get into Turkey
kilometer : 18194
with 80 Questions : passing this border took a while. It was closed
for all traffic untill 09.00 a.m. There are usualy no cars so
many papers were new to the custom officers. Here you see pedestrians
carrying many kilos of tea.