Rosary Rose,
Pave our way with your true love and light!

Dimashq[1], put me back to sleep, at once!  I have woken up into a nightmare.

I am telling you: "This is not what my beloved childhood was about."

Dimashq, protect me now!

By God, how could anyone dare to even conceive they might understand a person who has been deprived of the very quintessence of existence? What they have been through?

They are outsiders. They don’t know you, my beloved homecity or the Syrian reality. How could they? It is not their fault. You are just far away from us all, nowadays.

And yes, Dimashq is still standing. And so does my love for her. The dor[2] for my beloved hasn’t diminished, not even a tiny bit.

How could anyone imagine that Damascus, one of the major capitals of Islam, is a loving and tolerant place? Or, that a Romanian Christian - Julieta had followed her Sirian Muslim, her Romeo – Abu Samra from Bucharest to Damascus in 1978, with two children aboard? (I wasn’t born yet.) And that she has been loved and respected by the entire family - ever since they met...

As I feel the dor for my childhood so poignantly, as I miss the old days - Oh, those old sweet merry days, so far away from the slightest glimpse of war, of explosions or purgatory! And as Damascus is part of me, even though I am also Romanian, I have created Damascene Rose. The hybrid virtual space of love and passion, of the dor for a place that no longer exists. A connaisseur of the Sirian, of my Abu Samra’s reality, my father and my half, who met his Julieta - my mum and my other half, in Bucharest.

From Julieta’s womb, I grab the binoculars and I get sight of their seed of love through her umbilicus. Of the commencement of their love story in the bistro opposite to the Romanian Atheneum, on its right corner. Thus, the love I bear for the Romanian Atheneum and its lovely garden must have passed on to me, genetically. For, let alone it is the symbol of our Romanian culture per se, it is also my favourite place in Bucharest. I love walking in the garden. I guess it feels like home.

My thoughts fly together with the pigeons of the Atheneum up above and reach Brâncuși’s Column of the Infinite. To me, the very symbol of the free spirit...

From up there, from the very top of the column, the seagulls take me over. Furthermore, they accompany my thoughts and take me to Istanbul, my inspiration and shelter when the going gets tough: my dost[3] and the city of energy, my beloved third homecity.

On the diversity and the abundance of cultures, on true love, heritage, life's intermingled stories and realities - different than what we read in the social daily feed. Here, on Damascene Rose!

[1] Dimashq = Damascus in Arabic.
[2] Dor = An untranslatable word in Romanian which means missing someone or a place very much, a word full of depth and signification.
[3] Dost = blood friend and family for life, an untranslatable word mot-a-mot.