Damascus

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Rosary Rose,
Water me with thy potion of life,
For the story of my life has commenced here.

Dimashq, Dimashq, Dimashq,
My beloved hometown,
Dearest symphony,
Deepest poem,
Dazzling oldest inhabited capital of the world,
Capital of cultures & civilizations, of tradition and heritage,
Source of light,
Endless spring of wisdom,
My garden of roses,
Bloom of vibrant jasmine,
Petal of mirth,
Wave of passion,
Fountain of love,
Seed of utmost faith,
Feel my heartbeat:

The dor[1] I feel for you is so deep that more often than not it squeezes my heart in so diverse and colorful a manner that I feel my arms stretching and reaching out to you as if I could embrace thy sunny warmth. Step on thy divine earth. Have my skin indulge in your petals of vibrant jasmine and of thy perfumed Damascene Rose. Satisfy my hunger with her authentic jam of roses. Lean my cheeks to be caressed by her velvet like petals - unique worldwide. Quench my thirst with her water of life, sip by sip and stroke by stroke … and simply connect to YOU - to your true love as I have known her in the Garden of Roses of Al Jazeera 5 in Mashrou3 Dummar, our waterfall of petals of joy & laughter, of innocence and pure happiness.

gem

Come what may,
Be in the knowledge that I bear you in my heart,
My entire system is built upon YOU.
Never have I imagined I was this attached to you,
Till my life’s major crisis has befallen upon me,
For we have been apart for years now,
This explains how unique YOU are - habibati Dimashq
All these years apart,
And yet our tie grows stronger and stronger,
For blood is thicker than water,
Both borne and born on your heavenly land,
Drawing my essence from your authentic neighborhood
we have a bond for life,
No matter the distance,
You are always on my mind,
I am enrooted in your earth,
I bear you in my heart,
I feel YOU:

As soon as I wake up, I run freely and carelessly towards your blessed land of true love. I unleash my Damascene wild spirit which participated in the horse racing games, at the very beginning, in the very place where the neighborhood stands today.

Once upon a time, horses ran and raced freely, here. Throughout history, people fought fiercely for their freedom against foreign occupation, here. Blood is so much thicker than water and my father is one of the most hot-blooded and passionate persons I have ever met. He was both born and raised, here.

I told my mom I had a dream. I wanted to dance el flamenco – the “masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” on the narrow streets of Al Midan, here. She told me that would not ever be possible. After all, irrespective of the current “situation” or better said, the ongoing most terrible catastrophe around Damascus, this is its most traditionalist and conservative neighborhood. Truth be told, I cannot put up with being told that something is not possible.
I guess I am just not cut out for this …

Thus, every single golpe that I hit while dancing, every move commences with Your essence. I was watching the Bosphorus and all of the sudden, I just felt the spark. It stemmed for my heart, here, and one day I told myself I am going to take up flamenco classes.

This amazing dance of humanity, of offering You tenderness and receiving your love, of expressing oneself freely, of infinite passion and will to survive, of dancing with the waves of life, of waltzing with the roles of being conquered and a conqueror, alternatively and yet, not altering Your identity, not even an inch.

This dance expressing so many colorful feelings, enabling me to express my deepest frustration for the circumstances which do not allow me to embark on a plane and have a coffee in a traditional Damascene café, with my beloved uncle, to caress and comfort the wounded around. It hurts so much -here. I just won’t conceive of it. Yet, according to the social media and the news channels, it’s as if the WWIII has erupted around you, my beloved hometown.

Lak if only I could deploy my heart and feet in my beloved Damascus!

palat

“I am OK for a dislocated person. It’s like a virus which has infected your body and you have to live with it forever”, he tells me.

I walk freely amidst the narrow and winding alleys of our neighborhood - here, look up to my uncle who laughs at me in his one of a kind warm and funny manner. He waves his hand at me from the window of the beyt arabi , our traditional Arabic house. My happy steps take me to my Jdo’s workshop on the Straight Street[2], as I dance my way to this cradle of humanity - here.

My feet step on each of your stones and feel the vibrations and reverberations of the strength, of the heritage and history which last for centuries now -here.
I halt and inhale the smell of the neighborhood. It is this very smell that nourishes my cells, fuels my heart. It started beating here.
Embrace the love, release - ten times folded.

Golpe. Indulge. Right here: 

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It is night by now and habibati Dimashq puts me to sleep and covers me with one of her fragrant petals of her rose.

This wasn’t a dream. This was my childhood  11.06.1982-1991.

I was born here …

I shall always return to You, my Tara, my home, my Damascene Rose! 

[1] Dor – an untranslatable word in Romanian meaning missing somebody deeply.
[2] The Straight Street is the only street mentioned by its name in the Holy Bible. And it is on this sacred street that my Jdo (grandpa) had his workshop.