Friday 9 January – Damascus

I turned up at the Umayyad Mosque a bit early today, and as I walked out, an old guy yelled out ‘ten o’clock’, indicating the opening time, as opposed to the time that I had lobbed up. ‘Chermany?’ he asked as I walked away. ‘Australia!’ I said. ‘Velcome, velcome’, he said, and with a mixture of broken English and sign language, volunteered the information that another mosque, the Sayyida Ruquyya, was opening in two minutes. ‘Vedy vedy nice,’he said. ‘I go, I go to mosque. You come’. And with that the dear sweet man showed me the way to the Sayyida Ruquyya. After a short visit, I headed back to the Umayyad, complying with requests en route to have my photo taken with locals.
The Umayyad was very impressive, but after a peek, I was feeling a little ‘all mosqued out’, meaning no disrespect to the glories of Middle Eastern architecture. Outside I was hailed again by one of the guys I had been photographed with earlier. From an arched doorway which probably dated from about the 7th century AD, he dragged a woman, I assume that she was his wife – and asked to take a photo of me with her. She was dressed very traditionally in veil and garment covering her from head to foot. He took a lovely photo of us both and I moved on.
I suppose with fair hear I probably stand out like the proverbial dogs’ balls, so maybe it’s a bit of a novelty factor, although you do see a variety of ‘looks’ sported by the women around here. They range from very traditional, including garments which only show the eyes, through to young girls dressed in jeans and a tight fitting top wearing a veil through to clothes which you would find on the streets of Melbourne. Perhaps not quite – the arms and legs are always covered.

~ by margoforte12 on January 10, 2009.

One Response to “Friday 9 January – Damascus”

  1. nice pics Margaret. the keyboard is writing backwards, but if you can read this and are interested, my blog can be found at Hope you enjoyed PetraDavid

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