Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the lighter side-Travel- Syria-6

After taking a well deserved rest (which was not that much) we went out walking in the old city area. There is dirt and garbage everywhere and the traffic does not stop just because you are waiting to cross the road. You have to wait till there is no traffic in order to stop. Since we were supposed to be in the city for just one day, we had to make the most of it with our group or without. The room of the hotel was nice. After taking shower and changing into new clothes, I went to the dome of Lady Zainab (A.S.) for the first time. You see when you go to somebody’s house; you knock on the door or ring the bill to wait for the owner of the house to open the door for you. The same thing happens when you enter any of the holy shrines like this of Lady Zainab (A.S.). After asking permission (written on the walls on the entrance), I went inside to visit the grave of the Great Lady. I could not have imagined that one day I would standing in front of the shrine of the Lady Zainab, who according to narrations sacrificed all in order to bring down the fall of the ruler of that time (Yazid- God curse him to hell). After touching and kissing the walls of the shrine, I then prayed there for my family and my wife’s family and then gave my farewell respects of the day and went to the hotel. I then joined my family to have a breakfast which consisted of Arab and Western food, like eggs, coffee, bread, fruits, lamb and chicken meat etc. After completing it our buses were ready to take us to our destination. Before doing that I had the chance to change my currency into U.S. dollars, with the current rate at 47 Syrian pounds to a U.S.Dollar.

Being in a hotel has it own issues like poor ladies and boys storming to beg you for the money and sometimes they are relentless so it is better to avoid them. Although the roads are crowded and the garbage is collected but being a poor country, it does not take much to see the poverty all around you. The most striking thing that I saw in Damascus was the picture and portrait of their President (sometimes along with his father) almost everywhere even in stores. Since I was a tourist and not a reporter I was not about to gauge the popularity of their president by asking the hotel people or the bus driver or any store owner.

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