‘The Cave Exhibition.’

My last few posts might give the impression that I’ve been spending more time attempting to learn Arabic than taking advantage of Damascus’ tourism opportunities. This impression is for the most part correct. Its hard work, and all the museums and such things keep the same hours as the various government ministries I’m frequenting like a lost ghost.

However, among other cultural activities, I have visited the Sayyida Rouqqya mosque. Bulit in 1993 and the main Mosque (masjed in Arabic. Who even knew ‘mosque’ wasn’t Arabic?) in the Shia quarter of the old city, visiting it is a bit like being inside a Christmas decoration with rather more slightly hysterical people than will comfortably fit.

The highlight was probably the toilets. At the entrance black clad women fight over an assortment of flipflops and crocs, having of course taken off their own shoes.

On the way to the old Customs Khan I saw a large sign pointing to ‘The Cave Exhibition.’ Of course I followed it, and its slightly smaller sign friends through a souk selling bejeweled evening gowns and accessories. The Cave Exhibition had nothing to do with caves, and wasn’t an exhibition; it was a labyrinthine shop selling inlaid wooden boxes and table cloths. None the less it made me very happy. One of the various small stone rooms had, in addition to the standed carving and inlayed marble, a glass cupboard covered in stickers. The BEC get everywhere.


In any other news I’m spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to sort out my residency permit, which is currently in a bureaucratic limbo, along with my rental contract which I need to move the permit along. Hence spending so much time in internet cafes, emailing people for 3 minutes then trying to fill up the rest of my quarter hour.

Author: adventuresinarabic

I'm studying Arabic in Damascus, living through the Arab Spring and blogging about my experiences hear.

2 thoughts on “‘The Cave Exhibition.’”

  1. I’m glad you’re managing to do some tourism. I’ve been browsing in the Bradt guide to Syria which says Maristan Nur Ad-Din – a former lunatic asylum turned into a Medical Museum – ‘should be one of your highest priorities in the Old City’. Exhibits include a room full of stuffed animals showing the range of wildlife that used to roam in the Damascus area (in a medical museum??), a display of Ottoman circumcision scissors, an 11th century dentists chair and loads of stuff about Arab mathematicians and scientists such as Abbas Ibn Firnas: ‘In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles feathers, he jumped from a mountain, staying aloft for 10 minutes. He crashed on landing, and correctly concluded that he needed to give his device a tail to make it stall on landing’.

    Sounds like a winner.

    I admire the way you’re sticking at the bureaucracy. Hope it all gets sorted out.

    1. I have that they guide book, so i know the museum closes at 2pm. the institute finishes at 12.30, and it takes at lest half an hour to get into town. The other day i descovered a whole new form of public transport with folding seats. It was exciting. I’m suposed to be going to Maula tomorrow with some girls from the institute, but now I’m homeless I might need to rethink my plans.

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