Category Middle East

Building Babylon

Every now and again something surprising occurs during your commute to work that makes the monotonous journey that little bit more pleasant. One such occurrence was the recent photographic display of Iraqi architecture past, present and future. I would love to see it for real one day………. Take a look for yourselves. Advertisements

A-Z April Challenge – Yad Vashem

There is something haunting about visiting somewhere connected to the Holocaust. I am yet to visit an ex concentration camp and the closest that I have come are museums in Warsaw and Terezin in Czechia and the disturbing Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, as well as the subject of my post. Yad Vashem based in […]

A-Z April Challenge – Norias of Hama, Syria

In May 2009 I was lucky enough to visit Syria. This is how it was before the tragic conflict. Hama is famous for its norias, huge wooden water wheels used to lift water from the River Orontes to irrigate the crops. It is claimed that they date back to 1100 BC and although no longer […]

A-Z April Challenge – Jerash

I visited Jordan in 2005 and whilst Petra was as you may expect the undoubted highlight, the Roman ruins of Jerash was not far behind. I am yet to visit the likes of Persepolis, Carthage and Leptis Magna, but having been to Volubilis, Butrint, Pompeii, Baalbek, Beit Sheehan and others, I would put Jerash (Gerasa) […]

Syria Before The Conflict Part 7, The People

Now I have come to the end of my 2009 tour of Syria it is time to consider the people who I came across. I have purposely concentrated on the Syria that I saw on the trip – fantastic history, fabulous architecture and wonderful people. As I now often reflect on what has happened these […]

Syria Before The Conflict Part Six, Damascus

The capital was to be our last port of call on our magical Syrian tour. The bus from Palmyra was packed, so we took the only available seats right at the back on the left hand side. Before long a soldier was leaning on Hamish’s shoulder fast asleep! We stopped half way for a foodstop. […]

Wordless Wednesday – Syrian Sisters

Wordless Wednesday – St Simeon’s Monastery, Syria

Syria Before The Conflict Part Four, Roman Ruins

After a couple of nights in Hama we were half-way through our Syrian adventure. We had decided to take another train part of the way for the hell of it – for less than an hour between Hama & Homs. We stopped briefly in Homs, first negotiating a taxi for the ride south, a price […]

Syria Before The Conflict Part Five, Saladin’s Castle & Memory Tricks

Are you ever convinced of something only to find that the memory has played tricks on you? Well this happened to me whilst chronicling my 2009 Syria trip. I have just discovered some notes I scribbled along the way and have found two long held beliefs to be incorrect. First of all we visited in […]