طوق الياسمين

Spring is when cotton clouds hug the sky, when the birds sing hailing the arrival of life, when the warmer winds tug at the unfolding leaves on the trees, when the light drops of dew make fragrance of the jasmines that give Damascus its fame.

Spring is the only season I have not seen Damascus in. At the age of 24 I have finally seen what the season Spring is, and in Damascus.

Spring is when I stepped out of the airport in the early morning and breathed in a fresh wisp of cool fresh air. Though dry, it never became fractionally as arid as the dampest of Dubai’s air.

I frequently blog on my visits to Damascus, and each becomes more special. The light green color of the leaves made this visit significantly different from the rest. Each tree on the street was just sprouting, and they gave a wonderful contrast with the evergreens spread everywhere, even made more apparent when the lighter green brightens and the darker green dampens after a shower.


The streets of the Ancient City where more vibrant than customary. With Easter celebrations, the relgious harmony in Damascus became quite visible. All seven churches in the Ancient City (each of which follows a different order) shared in the celebrations, when at the same time the mosques (most of which are adjacent or wall to wall with the churches) where performing Isha prayer. It was a wonderful feeling to be in a city where I can comfortably say I am Muslim with Christian family without getting weird looks. It’s the only city where you’re not asked what religion you are to begin with, where I can walk in a church (and people know I am Muslim) and silently pray, light a candle, eat bread, and chant with my friends, and where I am not asked to make wudu2 before thinking of touching the Bible by a bearded man wearing a kandora to his knees and holding a stick to break my neck with it.






And the Damascene girls. Yaaaaaa bayyyyyyyyiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ma a7lahon! They’re getting prettier every year. They’re standing up to the competition abroad. I walked through the parks and gardens of Damascus, spotting young and old couples sharing their love and whispering their desires between the folded leaves and jasmines.

The food… the food… I will say nothing but Allah y6awwel 3emrek ya sitti w ye7sen 5atemtek

She gave me two bars of saboon ghar (bay leaves soap). I showered with nothing but them there. My hair became silky smooth from the second day. The oils became balanced, and my hair naturally flowed and folded, and it smelled great. My skin became healthier. I can’t believe we buy all this commercial crap, soap that dries our skin and then lotions to moisturize, and same goes for hair. I walk into the store here and there are shelves of shampoos and body wash when they can all be replaced by one bar of soap.

And it makes the wool smell great too. My grandma stuffs the beds with them, so that the beds always smell clean and fresh.

I miss my bed.