Entries by Sami Moubayed

Damascus Needs More Lovers

There are 12 marriages per 1,000 citizens in Damascus. That is what official statistics say, and yet there is also a staggering 40% divorce rate in the Syrian capital. Meaning, out of the 1,000 people who get married, 400 of them get divorced. The divorce rate is much lower in Latakia (9%), Aleppo (8%), Hama […]

Follow the Heart

  One of my students at the University of Kalamoon recently approached me, seeking advice regarding a job offer he had just received at the general headquarters of the United Nations in New York. It would give him both great exposure and experience. His mind was telling him to grab the opportunity, but his heart […]

Never give in…

  During the height of World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill felt the need to raise the sagging spirits of the British people. He gave a memorable speech asking his countrymen to: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never in nothing, great or small, large or petty never give in, […]

Farewell Mohammad al-Maghout (1934-2006)

With the death in Damascus of on 3 April Syria has lost one of its literary heavyweights, a great poet and playwright. Considered a great poet and playwright, Al-Maghout died in Damascus at the age of 73 on April 3, 2006, after suffering from a prolonged period of illness and lengthy spells of depression. Sadly […]

Working for ‘nukhba’ politics in Syria

I am by no means disrespectful to the majority of Syrians when I say that “elitism” is good, yet my argument simply implies that those who are not qualified should not rule, neither in Syria nor elsewhere. In general, those who ruled Syria in the 1950s were qualified. And likewise, in general, those who ruled […]

Houdini of the Middle East, poised to move again

In 1982 while Yasser Arafat was making his painful exodus from Beirut someone walked up to him and asked, “Abu Ammar, where are you going?” Confidently, the PLO Chairman replied, “To Palestine! I am going to Palestine.” Today, in 2002, Arafat has been asked by visitors at his Ramallah place of detention, “Abu Ammar, where […]

Arab oldies well-kept in Damascus

Walking through the crowded Shaalan market in downtown Damascus, one sees numerous CD stores, selling DVDs, movies, and playing music by modern artists like Bon Jovi and Sting. A modern sight for an old-fashioned market, one wonders, then sees a small, worn-out wooden shop at the edge of a dark alley. Only those intending to […]