jasmine

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.

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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.

damas-in-spring-02-by-kinan-jarjous

 

 

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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.

damas-in-spring-03-by-kinan-jarjous

  • https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=blogger&hl=en&passive=86400&continue=http://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL%3Dhttp://bonbonloverr.blogspot.com/%26zx%3D10bwr5iqlom0t&a secratea

    I love the post! I really love it!

    It reminds me of my visits to Jordan after being away for some time… every small detail of home addresses all senses poignantly and somehow all becomes magical!
    well, it’s nice to hear you’ve enjoyed your trip after losing that job.. i mean, after them losing you ;)

    halla2 yalla, job hunt! :D

  • Aziza

    You’re one of those people whose descriptions and use of words create a sense of belonging in me .. A feeling I lack at most times .
    Really made me eager to visit the motherland ..

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time away, but I’m even happier you’re back :)

  • Aziza

    You’re one of those people whose descriptions and use of words create a sense of belonging in me .. A feeling I lack at most times .
    Really made me eager to visit the motherland ..

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time away, but I’m even happier you’re back :)

  • https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=blogger&hl=en&passive=86400&continue=http://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL%3Dhttp://bonbonloverr.blogspot.com/%26zx%3D1hbjd4kh7l5q5&a secratea

    I love the post! I really love it!

    It reminds me of my visits to Jordan after being away for some time… every small detail of home addresses all senses poignantly and somehow all becomes magical!
    well, it’s nice to hear you’ve enjoyed your trip after losing that job.. i mean, after them losing you ;)

    halla2 yalla, job hunt! :D

  • https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=blogger&hl=en&passive=86400&continue=http://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL%3Dhttp://adigaxtr.blogspot.com/%26zx%3D147tfpk25qqkw&l XTR

    I love Damascus!

  • https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=blogger&hl=en&passive=86400&continue=http://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL%3Dhttp://adigaxtr.blogspot.com/%26zx%3D147tfpk25qqkw&l XTR

    I love Damascus!

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com/ hamza

    ya3ni you talk about women like you’ve never seen women in your life
    and you talk about food like you’ve never eaten before
    and to conclude this masterpiece, you finish with one great paragraph promoting saboon il ghar and ur hair.

    Very well-written. I am impressed

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com hamza

    ya3ni you talk about women like you’ve never seen women in your life
    and you talk about food like you’ve never eaten before
    and to conclude this masterpiece, you finish with one great paragraph promoting saboon il ghar and ur hair.

    Very well-written. I am impressed

  • http://nourasworld.blogspot.com/ Noura

    First and third pics are my favorite..
    Lucky you, I can’t imagine how relaxing it would be to visit Beirut and not worry about religion or sect. I remember during my last visit how tense I was, carefully watching what I say and how I say it, it’s like walking on egg shells and not completely free !!
    I love the title, it reminds me of a poem for Nizar Qabbani..
    Would you next time cross the border and visit your friendly neighbor ?

  • http://nourasworld.blogspot.com Noura

    First and third pics are my favorite..
    Lucky you, I can’t imagine how relaxing it would be to visit Beirut and not worry about religion or sect. I remember during my last visit how tense I was, carefully watching what I say and how I say it, it’s like walking on egg shells and not completely free !!
    I love the title, it reminds me of a poem for Nizar Qabbani..
    Would you next time cross the border and visit your friendly neighbor ?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14891500987490712802 أمنية

    is this ur house in the first pic?

    u won’t imagine how much temtation u r offering me to go and do my regination papers as well!
    it’s just no one – except my family- to quit my job now.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14891500987490712802 أمنية

    is this ur house in the first pic?

    u won’t imagine how much temtation u r offering me to go and do my regination papers as well!
    it’s just no one – except my family- to quit my job now.

  • http://tha2ir.blogspot.com/ Ulysses

    Maaan, I have to agree on the Syrian Girls topic. and yes, they do get prettier each and every year!1

  • http://tha2ir.blogspot.com Ulysses

    Maaan, I have to agree on the Syrian Girls topic. and yes, they do get prettier each and every year!1

  • Anonymous

    Aziza -
    Thank you Aziz! Hope you go back home soon too :)

    secratea-
    hahahahahah thanks!

    XTR -
    Good lad!

    Hamza -
    Eh mnee7 you are impressed :P Allah yzeed w ybarek :P

    Noura -
    The third pic is from my balcony! Imagine I wake up to that view every day! It’s wonderful! Arrgh I really hope the Lebanese stop bickering about all this nonsense… I can’t ever understand their politics!

    أمنية -
    Oh I wish it was my house! But the third pic is from my place :)
    I say go ahead and quit if you have no strings attached!

    Ulysses -
    They’re haawwwwwwwwwwwwwwt

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Aziza -
    Thank you Aziz! Hope you go back home soon too :)

    secratea-
    hahahahahah thanks!

    XTR -
    Good lad!

    Hamza -
    Eh mnee7 you are impressed :P Allah yzeed w ybarek :P

    Noura -
    The third pic is from my balcony! Imagine I wake up to that view every day! It’s wonderful! Arrgh I really hope the Lebanese stop bickering about all this nonsense… I can’t ever understand their politics!

    أمنية -
    Oh I wish it was my house! But the third pic is from my place :)
    I say go ahead and quit if you have no strings attached!

    Ulysses -
    They’re haawwwwwwwwwwwwwwt

  • Hisham

    Long time I didn’t visit Damascus… maybe this summer I will

  • http://souonecanobee.wordpress.com/ Sou-One-Canobee

    Such beautiful place I am sure it changes your soul to go there well not change it but al least cleanse it :)

  • http://souonecanobee.wordpress.com/ Sou-One-Canobee

    Such beautiful place I am sure it changes your soul to go there well not change it but al least cleanse it :)

  • Hisham

    Long time I didn’t visit Damascus… maybe this summer I will

  • http://www.rimeallaf.com/mosaics/index.php Rime

    Hum, after this lovely ode to all things back home, I may have to reconsider my position on saboon ghar which I really really hate. Plus, I really need lather.

    How did you handle the smoking situation? :)

  • http://www.rimeallaf.com/mosaics/index.php Rime

    Hum, after this lovely ode to all things back home, I may have to reconsider my position on saboon ghar which I really really hate. Plus, I really need lather.

    How did you handle the smoking situation? :)

  • http://homeaway-sam.blogspot.com/ sam

    ah u made me miss demascus…inshallah we will make there on our next visit to the mideast…saboon gherr…never heard of it…sounds awesome..i want some..

  • http://homeaway-sam.blogspot.com/ sam

    ah u made me miss demascus…inshallah we will make there on our next visit to the mideast…saboon gherr…never heard of it…sounds awesome..i want some..

  • http://www.alidahmash.blogspot.com/ Ali

    I fell in love in Damascus when I first visited it last month. I love its old alleys, neighborhoods, mosques, churches and people. Ofcourse if I have to talk about the food there then I need a whole day. I like how you described it KJ.

  • http://www.alidahmash.blogspot.com Ali

    I fell in love in Damascus when I first visited it last month. I love its old alleys, neighborhoods, mosques, churches and people. Ofcourse if I have to talk about the food there then I need a whole day. I like how you described it KJ.