This is a beautiful piece about the city of Damascus before the Syrian Civil War tore it apart. It was a place I always wanted to visit. Damascus was an ancient city full of diversity and cultural heritage, including Christian and Jewish heritage.
The author here paints a more complicated picture of the civil war which began as a domestic uprising against the Assad dictatorship and the deterioration of economic conditions, which were then brutally repressed by Al-Assad and his forces and now it’s a sectarian proxy war between Sunni and Shia.
Ancient cities, towns, villages and most of all, the people, some of which date back to the First Century, are being destroyed. The end is a long way off. And the ‘end’ will just be the end of fighting, which by then will mean nothing.
Matthew McNaught | Syria Comment | June 2013 | 18 minutes (4,615 words)
Matthew McNaught taught English in Syria between 2007 and 2009. He now works in mental health and sometimes writes essays and stories. This piece first appeared in Syria Comment, and our thanks to McNaught for allowing us to republish it here.
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