Monday, April 6, 2009


Sorry it has been a while, it was not possible to access our blog whilst in Syria, all domains were blocked by the national firewall, alongside other dangerous sites such as facebook.

Syria was actually one of the friendliest countries I have ever visited, the welcome we received was as warm as those you might receive in Burma or Pakistan for instance.

I will write more about our trip through Syria and the Lebanon later but for now I would just like to describe our visits to two of the more famous mosques in Syria. The first was the Grand Mosque in Aleppo and the second was the Umayyad mosque in Damascus. Although I always feel a slight unease when visiting another persons place of worship, be it a mosque, Hindu temple or Buddhist monastery there is something very serene about sitting in the marble courtyard of a mosque. OK, so the countries in which you would be most likely to visit a mosque have a climate which supports sitting on a marble floor, or indeed walking barefoot across it. But still, watching the children run about doing 'skids' whilst their parents enjoy a moment of peace and quiet, watching the old men who are watching everyone else, or just relaxing in the shade is a very enjoyable way to pass the time. Maybe if some of the churches in England brightened up a bit, made themselves the sort of place people really would go to spend some time, and I mean the people who do not go to churches today, perhaps then they wouldn't all be standing desolate slowly crumbling.


Grand Mosque, Aleppo

Umayyad mosque, Damascus

1 comment:

  1. Another very different report and not what the normal traveller would think of doing. I want to see the soap factory! The article on the mosque was interesting, a place to go and as you say it should be that way in the UK.