Sunday, December 25, 2005

Trip to Maaloula

It was on a Friday morning when 6 young international voyagers; a charming couple from Germany, Lars and Katharina, a loving Australian, Attila, a darling Peruvian, Gabriela, and the two just fabulous locals, Feras and I, emerged together on a stupendous adventure at Maaloula, Syria.

Top left to right: Lars, Katherina and Attila.
Botton Left to right: Gabriela, Feras and Me.

It was an hour decent ride on a bus from Damascus to Maaloula is a village whose inhabitants are mostly Christian.. All we talked about is current affairs. What else would anybody talk about these days? Me, Attila, Gabriela, Lars and Katharina pretty much sat near other but Feras sat a little further from us, which was good because he got to meet up with a girl who actually works as guide at one of a few gorgeous churches over there. So that worked great for us.

When we reached there, we took a look at some gorgeous ancient churches then the real escapade started when we went to the hills for some rock climbing. We all had a blast. I find it quite interesting that in summer when a bunch of us went to Bait Jin and did some hiking, I couldn't finish; I was so nauseated out of exhaustion and dehydration. This time, I was just out of breath but I kept up pretty well. I'm not too sure if I'm more in shape this time or is it that the weather does a huge role. That day was freezing cold. It even snowed a little bit. I sure did miss the feeling of snow drops hitting my face was a walk. It was like some sort of relief. Attila himself got very excited because he has never seen snow in his life.

I'll have to admit some of the caves on the hills and mountains look like that they can be used for some SciFi movie. I felt like I was I belonged in Star Wars and I'm just waiting for Jedis to come to tell us "May the force be with us" Or the Imperial army to force us to join the "dark side" or we're doomed. Other than that, some the pathways in the village are just gorgeous. The residential area is somewhat primitive but that what I loved about it. It was very simple and most of it was all natural and with the amount of stairs, I can say that it is one healthy lifestyle these people have.

I think we walked all over the village then stopped at a local restaurant to have something to drink and eat. To our amusement the TV was turned on VH1 and we couldn't help but sing along with songs playing on TV. We all reminisced our past as we sang each song loudly. It was mostly me, Attila and Gabriela. I'm surprised we didn't get kicked out of the place. I recall that when we were leaving the restaurant to catch the bus back to Damascus the guys at the restaurant seem to be happy to see us go. Go figure…

We didn't stop singing when we actually got on the bus. We sang all sorts of songs; we sang some, Christmas carols, oldies, nursery rhymes, TV show themes and modern rock songs. We got the whole bus quiet as we sang. Even Feras entertained us with his harmonica playing. It was just fun with laughter and just enjoying our time.

All in all this day was one of the most fun days ever since I moved to Syria, 2 months ago. This trip made me realize that there is so much in Syria I'm missing out. It's ironic that it takes backpackers for me to get to know more of my own country. Hence, I decided to join and just meet more people and get more connections because God knows when if one day I'll visiting their neck of the wood. Now that I think it'll happen but it'll be fun to know people from all over the world; a lot more to learn.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Syria, my love.

وما أدراك ما الوطن بالنسبة للسوريين
سورية هي تلك الرغبة التي تعتريك لتناول " كاسة شاي " وأنت تأكل الجبنة البيضاء البلدية،وذاك الخمول الذي يدفعك بعد

وجبة الغذاء الدسمة إلى قيلولة غالية،
هي ذاك المزيج الفوضوي الذي يجري في شوارع العاصمة،
آلاف من السيارات والبشر المختلطة وفق منظومة معقدة لا تستطيع أن تدركها أو تفهم آلية
عملها ولكنها في النهاية تعمل، تمتزج، تتحرك، وتنفصل.........
وتتلاشى الحركة في الشوارع لتبدأ الحياة في المنازل التي تحب السهر،
وتبقى البيوت المتراكمة المتسلقة جبل قاسيون مضاءة حتى يطفئوها الفجر

الذي يعلنه صوت الآذان..
سورية هي فيروز في الصباح.. و" سيرة الحب " في ليل دمشقي طويل..

أو موال شجي عتيق على أنغام قد حلبي .
سورية.. نشرة الأخبار بين عشق الرجال وكره النساء،
هي السياسة التي ندمنها دون أن نتعاطها..

خوف صبية عائدة إلى البيت في مساء متأخر،
هي حب مراهق لبنت الجيران، هي وجوه

الناس التي ألفناها وقصص البيوت التي تناقلناها،
هي النميمة في صبحية " نسوان "، و " قعدة " رجالية في مقهى بين
طاولة الزهر وعبق الدخان..

سورية هي جلسة حول " بحرة " في دار قديم تجمعنا " قرقعة " أركيلة،
عشقناها وهي ترسم تنهيدة ألم في الهواء،
هي عدوى الضحك على طرفة " بايخة " تنتشر بين الأصحاب وتتمادى لتصبح

قهقهة عالية لا تعبأ لا بالمكان والزمان..
سورية هي محجبة وسافرة تعيش في بيت واحد،

وطبخة " شاكرية " على مائدة كريم دعا إليها كل الجيران،
مسيحي ومسلم الكل يحمدون الله على النعمة ويدعون أن يحفظها من الزوال..
سورية هي نزعة طفل للتسرب إلى الشارع واللعب مع أولاد الجيران،
هي رائحة " الطبيخ " تفوح عند باب كل دار وقت الغذاء،
وجلسة دافئة لأفراد العائلة حول مدفأة المازوت في ليلة باردة..
سورية هي الحارة والأصحاب،

المدرسة والطريق الذي " تسكعناه " مئات المرات،
هو الطاولة التي درسنا عليها والغرفة التي تشاركنا بها إخوة وأخوات،
هي همومنا الصغيرة التي كبرت وأحلامنا الكبيرة التي تضاءلت،

الذكرى التي تجمعنا في الماضي والأمل بلقاء في المستقبل قد لا يكون..
سورية هي

الحب القديم، هي القلب الذي خفق في صدورنا أول مرة،
هي الغيرة التي اشتعلت على فتاتنا تضحك لرفيق لتترك في النفس حرق لذيذ،
هي حلاوة اللقاء الذي كان وربما لن يتكرر،

هي الحياة التي انتزعناها من عمر مضى واحتفظنا بها مجرد ذكريات..

هي ضحك، بكاء، مئات الكلمات، أحاديث وصور تبعثرت في ذاكرتنا

يستحضرها الحنين ويحفظها الشوق ونحن نعرف بأنه لا أمل لنا في اللقاء..
سورية هي أيام عشناها

في وطن كان.. نخاف أن يضيع،

سورية هي الحبيب الذي هجرناه ولم نستطع أن نعشق سواه،
سورية هي الماضي الذي منه ولدنا

وعلينا أن نحرص لكي يكون المستقبل الذي يحيا أولادنا فيه..

سورية كلمة عندما نسمعها، تشتعل قلوبنا بالمحبة، وتدمع

عيوننا الحائرة فرحا وحزنا،
وتتلعثم ألسنتنا مثل مراهق يريد أن يبوح لفتاته

بكلمة.. "أحبك

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Latest Job Update...

Well, the people who have been reading my blog will know the story about my job. Well, here's the latest update.. MAJOR changes has happened. I actually changed changed my job at NIS and now I'm working at a media department of a human development company called Unlimited Horizons in English, in Arabic آفاق بلا حدود. I'm seriously loving this job.... There's no training period or anything. They saw my portfolio and they wanted me instantly. They gave a whole loads of work already. I'm seriously enjoying what I'm doing. All day long I'm either in the studio working on some anasheed or prepairing audio for a TV show that'll be aired probably in next Ramadan or I'm planning with some people to work on an audio book for some Human development book. If not all that, I'll be trying to create a concept for a music video or I'm in video filming sessions and locations to get some of the action there.

Pretty much my hands are seriously full. I'm not complaining though. It brings me great joy. As I mentioned in my earlier post that if I'm productive, I'm happy. This time my productivity is on a bigger front and it's contributing in to make a difference. It's like a dream come true.

My boss, is the coolest human being ever. He's so great.... He's teaching me the secrets of the trade and believes in me and my work, like no other. I have to say, I can't ask for more. He's very welcoming. I feel at home being there. I love going to work unlike my other job. Soba7an Allah... As a kid a dreamt in doing something in what I'm doing now. Finally, it had happened and now I feel my purpose and know my role in this world. I know this sounds pointless to many people out there. I don't care. I'm happy and I want to make other people happy with my work and that is what matters to me most.

All I have to say about this, El7amdullah (Praise the lord) for everything that is happening. In my life, I had some serious ups and downs but like this, there is nothing comparable. Sob7an Allah and el7amdullah....

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Another Great Creation...

Who ever knew that they'd make candy like this. Go figure... What next? Crap looking chocolate?