Category Archives: cultural differences

Tunisia – not smelling of Jasmin

There is nothing like being proved right about something to make you like it. In Tunis, Sousse, Kairoun and Sfax the cities provided a backdrop to our disscussions about how they felt like like they were waiting for something. Consequently when on … Continue reading

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Damascus and Me

As passionate as mine and Damascus’ love affair is, if she was a man I’d leave her. She’s just not very nice to me. My landlord took advantage of my brief trip home to steal my furniture and change my … Continue reading

Posted in Arab Spring, boring admin, cultural differences, Middle Eastern Stirings | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Eid of Dead Sheep (New, improved version)

Its Eid al Adha again, the feast of the sacrifice that forms the culmination of the hajj and commemorates Jacobs willingness to slit his sons throat. Christians say Jacob was asked to murder Isaac, the important one in the biblical … Continue reading

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The sexual politics of public transport.

While hurtling around Damascus in badly driven sardine cans over flowing with humanity I have made some interesting observations about the etiquette of public transport. On the Jermannana – Bab Tuma service that connects perhaps the two most liberal parts … Continue reading

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Beaver Commander

Life continues. My flatmate, The Hairy One, is editing a book of tswer, quranic interpretation, by a mandate era sheikh who’s notions of scientific research, logic and good writing have either dated or been lost in translation. Too much Mullaho … Continue reading

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Ramadan and Eid

On the whole I enjoyed Ramadan, probably partly because after hitting new highs right at the beginning the weather started cooling. Needless to say what had been unbelievably hot before the heats zenith felt like a relief after it had … Continue reading

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رمضان كريم

Imagine a culture that runs on sweet tea and nicotine. Imagine a society where nothing actually works, where people being nice to each other is what keeps the buses on the roads, the bureaucracy workable, which, when peoples employers routinely … Continue reading

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