Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Damascus, snap snap, snap

I am sorry - I have just loaded so many photographs that I have lost count. My blog fairy just sent a plaintive "Tell me when you've stopped....".

I have stopped. At some stage I will load a lot more onto my new professional account at Flickr.

How would I choose what to leave out? If there is one place you should try to see it is Damascus. I am hoping that these photographs will give you just the tiniest glimpse,a sense of the magic and richness of the city and its people, and a culture that goes back much further than ours.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I have just written a book.

(For photos without captions, just hover your cursor over the picture for a brief explanation.)

Sour plums and green almonds The aoud player
Stools Shops
The music shop Shops
Shops Streets
Streets in Damascus
Damascus Streets Streets
Streets Streets
Syrian Streets Doors
Woman at a Caravanserai door Old door
The silk loom
Hasahn Pots on the windowsill at Hasahn's
Elias Stephan in the silk shop Order boxes in Tony Stephan's shop

Damascus silk brocade
This exquisite silk is hand woven and it takes two men two days to make half a metre. It costs about the same as a Kaffe Fassett print in Australia.

VIP Room Detail of floor tiles
Chair upholstered in gold damask brocade
This was our first sight on arrival in Damascus - the VIP room at the International Airport is just amazing with so much pattern and colour.

A fabric shop

Moire fabrics, embroidered
I haven't bought these yet - but next time. I suspect the embroidery of the cross stitch is by machine.

Striped Syrian Cloth
Cotton weft, suposedly silk warp, though I think it is rayon or mercerised cotton mix of some sort. They are bright and very beautiful.

Merchant Dealing
The fabrics piled behind them are still damp from the dyer, and pre-embroidered.

The Medicine Shop
Where most ingredients are aphrodisiac - or, as explained to me with great seriousness, "to make the man strong in the bed". Somehow I don't think they meant that muscles would build up as he slept.

The general store
Everything for sale - in the tiniest of shops.

An alley near the paper suq.

The Perfume Sellers
The perfume sellers can copy any perfume made in essential oils. at a song and in total ignorance of copyright.

Chrysanthemum, camomile, mint and marimiya - and other tea ingredients, with sugar crystals in the front and olive oil soaps behind.

Rosebuds for Teas
Rosebuds for Teas

The Roman Arches
Another view of the same area

Omayed Mosque
This minaret is the Minaret of Jesus Christ, where,according to Moslems, Jesus will return to earth. I am fascinated by this crossing-over of religious ideas.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jenny

The photographs are amazing: thank you so much for sharing them with us. How I would love to have been with you..... Maybe some time in the future...

Much love, Tena and himself

10:34 am  
Blogger Kt said...

Just a couple of things:

1. There's a paper suq!
2. And a music shop!
3. And you were thinking that we might NOT go to Damascus??!
4. The best thing about that "old door" shot is the plastic chair beside it - great juxtaposition


3:37 pm  
Blogger Kt said...


5. I wasn't really being plaintive.
6. I've put a link to your Flickr page on the right-hand-side.

3:45 pm  
Anonymous Shirley said...

Wow! Thanks Jenny, have just been to the 'Flicks' - thanks for all the wonderful photos. Only 5 pages?
Shirley in Park Orchards

10:56 pm  
Blogger teri springer said...

Hasahn bears a striking resemblence to a friend of mine from Nablus, Dr. Assam Kaanan.

The market place is fabulous. I would LOVE to live in a place where I could frequent shops like those (I hate the *super stores* of the US; convenient, yes....but SO boring!!). That silk is fab! So, how much DOES a Kaffe Fassett cost in Australia?


12:11 am  

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