I love you, I do!

I was born in a city that no longer exists! It is not the oasis of roses and jasmine, of the sunny days which warmed Mariam. Not anymore. Oh, dearest Damascus! This is where she ran amidst the palm trees in the luxuriant Garden of Roses with her best friend in crime, Fares. Mariam and Fares are two important characters of life, inspired by a true story: my magical childhood in Damascus.

While Mariam is a hybrid from Venus, Fares is a Damascene living in Europe. Fares means Knight in Arabic. He's from Mars. The two characters of life speak about the challenges of life, the becoming, gender equity, the pricks of being a hybrid in Europe since the age of 9. The pricks of manhood and womanhood. Alternatively, simultaneously, passionately and ardently. 1001 petals of stories: On True Love. On stigma. On pain. On war. On Heritage and the fragrant Damascene jasmine. On having it all although you have lost everything. Life stories! 

History has it that irrespective of the circumstances, Dimashq shall forever and always stand tall and shine. Be warm and gentle like the petals of her Damascene Rose. She is like a little ‘Switzerland’ amidst a country torn by a tormenting war. A pearl. My beloved Damascene pearl, lying at the very core of my heart.

Despite the current situation, Damascus of my childhood - 11 June 1982 – 1991- shall forever be as colourful as I remember her, as vivid as I feel her and as tasteful as only her Damascene blackberry tastes, sole and unique worldwide: al tut al Shami.

My beloved heritage, nobody can take away from me these once in a lifetime memories!

Her existence goes back to thousands of years, before my getting a glimpse of her. Damascus has always risen and has conserved her identity through decades of historical turmoil.  Damascus has danced with the fate of being both conquered and a conqueror.

Nevertheless, no “power” has ever been able to alter her identity. So let nobody wonder why I cannot change my utmost respect for our traditions and my clinging to my very Damascene essence, even though I am also Romanian.

Imaginator * Storyteller * Marketing Integrator * Cultural Hub * Roses, Books, Walking, Sea and Nature Lover * The Godfather it is * Red is my colour * Spanish is a song * El Flamenco vibrates * Arabic is deep *  This is where I come for a fresh breath of life, away from  tumult * Come along now... Let's step into the realm of the Damascene Rose 

The Garden of Roses is that place we call Home 

Damascus of my childhood is and shall always be my mother source. My eternal muse for her infinite abilities of regeneration.
By God, I have to describe Her, I have to thank Her for all the love and joy She has brought to my life. I do, I do, I do!

I must describe my fairytale-like childhood, this gate to love, a cradle of cultures and thousands of years of heritage and friendship.

Born in Dimashq, thanks to my Damascene Muslim handsome and loving father – Abu Samra and to his beautiful and refined Christian Lady, a Romanian hybrid of genuine and traditionalist roots herself too – Julieta. Hence I happen to be a Damascene Romanian. A hybrid myself, just like the Damascene Rose, a hybrid rose stemming from the merger of the rosa muschata and rosa gallica. A genuine Damascene in Europe, since the age of 9, who has been in a continuous self-quest of extracting her true identity, for years.

"Which religion shall I choose in order to be loved and accepted?" "How should I behave?" "Why am I not accepted?" " What is wrong with my being a hybrid?" are just a few of the troubling questions that have accompanied me along my continuous ardent quest.

After years on this beautiful journey, I return to my beloved roots, my Tara.

For this is a sevda [1] , an eternal love. I need the warmth of Her sun rays, the caress of Her petals. I must step on Her sacred blessed earth to be able to connect to my very essence. My feet touch Her heavenly-like earth so that I am able to enroot to Her wisdom. Drink Her water of roses. Receive the inspiration from Her dazzling beauty. Quench my thirst for knowledge from Her wisdom of centuries and endless sense of adventure and discovery.

Damascene Born...

Damascene Rose is enrooted in the luxuriant garden of “Al Jazeera 5” - the 5th Island - the winner of all “Best Garden Awards” of my time, the eighties. Her roses…my God, her roses, perfumed and colourful – a symphony of all possible colours: whitish, yellowish and peachy salmon. The rainbow of nuances: from light pink to velvety crimson red, the colour of my love for Home, the oldest continuously inhabited capital of the world. She is Damascus.

Adorning their petals in the heat of the sun and their enchanting colours in the dim of the mornings, they inspire me every morning as I wake up. They are part of my being by now. My dearest 5th island!

As a homage “To Damascus -, years are only moments, decades are only flitting trifles of time. She measures time not by days and months and years, but by the empires she has seen rise and prosper and crumble to ruin. She is a type of immortality.” said Mark Twain, upon visiting the city in 1867.

I must have my feelings and thoughts poured out. I have to make sure my image of Damascus remains alive. For nowadays, she is no longer as my eyes have known and witnessed her, allegedly. For this is a reality unknown to outsiders.

How can a non-Damascene or a non-Syrian understand or even conceive what it is like to feel Damascus or the Syrian realities?

What a cruel twist of situations, my beloved pearl!

In a way, I am a non-Syrian. I am enrooted in Damascus and yet I have been kept away from her for so many years. Perhaps, to fulfil my destiny? Who knows?

Nevertheless, The Family is there to enable me to connect with my beloved, at all times. An honourable and distinguished family who has bred ones of the finest and most polite gentlemen I have ever made the acquaintance of. A blend of classy, hospitable, wonderful storytellers and funny men. With an innate utmost respect for women. Warm-hearted as the freshly-baked bread.  Deeply loving.

It is his love, Abu Samra’s love! So unique, so delicate and passionate as the crimson velvet petals of the Damascene Rose.

I was borne in the City of Jasmine...

Never have I imagined that "my" City of Jasmine, “the pearl of the Middle East” shall be subject to this terrible ongoing “catastrophe” around her. An ongoing Inferno!

And thanks to my father, my beloved Syrian, I have witnessed  an unquenchable nationalism and love for their country that naturally pours through their veins. The purest and most authentic of the kind.

The course of life has it that ears have come across stories and situations, which have made the happenings known beyond the borders of the unknown.

Moreover, the major crisis of my life encouraged me to reveal my true self. Urged me to wake up amidst the petals of the Damascene Rose, a blog inspired by life facts. Hence, a witness to intermingled cultures and traditions, to outstanding mind wires and most importantly, to authentic LOVE STORIES.

Rosary Rose pave our way with strokes of Al Midan’s authentic warmth and hospitality,

Welcome our guests with Damascene blackberry!

[1] Sevda = eternal love in Turkish