Syria: Sea Side Story

An English literature professor from the little Mediterranean city of Tartous and a Syrian-Canadian writer on a trip to her mother country exchange glances at a cafe called Sea Breeze. That's how Mariyah and Abu Fares chose to start their adventure, and their readers’ new addiction.

A low rumble in my stomach broke into my daydream as a waft of spices and seafood drifted enticingly by me. I felt as though I hadn’t eaten in days. I looked back through the window and spotted the waitress, resting casually near what appeared to be the kitchen door. She had been immersed in a book but as though she had a sixth sense, she caught my gaze within seconds of it falling on her. She smiled knowingly and approached my table.
“Oh, yes! Do you have a menu?”
“Not here. But I’ll tell you what’s being made fresh today.”
“Oh heaven.” I thought to myself and smiled back at her, enthusiastically awaiting her description of dinner.

The story starts out as simple as that. The two writers, who are switching places every week, went from there. We learn about Yasmina, Prof. Youssef's former student and the waitress at Sea Breeze, and Yazan, the nonchalant chef, all to the backdrop of Tartous’ marvelous sea side, and Abu Fares‘ and Mariyah‘s exquisite writing.

When Yasmina was introducing herself my eyes were distracted by the other woman. With delicate fingers, she picked a small hot fish by the tail, dipped it slightly in a bowl of sauce, brought it close to her lips, blew on it to cool it down then swallowed it all, head, bones and tail like a true gourmet. She closed her eyes and swam in her own pool of ecstasy. Then… then with her other hand, she pulled at a lock of hair which went astray in front of her face and shepherded it to join the others behind her ear. It was precisely the way she pulled at her hair that made me utterly defenseless.

We are at Part 16 at the moment, but be sure to catch it from the beginning.


  • Oh, my dear Yazan! How can we thank you enough? How thrilling to see your article here. I’m so beyond happy to be writing this story with Abufares. We are both even more pleased to have such supportive followers as yourself and our other readers. We have become rather fond of our characters and its nice to know they have captured the hearts of others too. Thank you again, my friend.

  • abufares

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it Yazan and thank you for posting about our (Mariyah’s and my) Sea Side on Global Voices.

    Hi Marroush :-)

  • Yay, so glad you did this post! You know, I have a confession. Because of the pain I suffered during Mariyah’s last story, I decided to wait this time until Sea Side was complete before reading, so I wouldn’t have to suffer the painful wait between each chapter!

  • Jillian, I am truly sorry. I had no idea that my lapses in writing caused…pain. Well, I guess one of the many advantages of writing with Abufares is that I am not allowed to be late in publishing the next chapter. :) Whenever you come and join us will bring me happiness. I’ve miss you. I hope you’ll let us know when you’ve dropped by.

  • abufares

    No pain no gain… Now that I’m keeping an eye on Mariyah, she’s behaving in a much more predictable way (on the surface that is). Well at least I got her to write every other Friday. In return, she made me… oh well, sometimes we just can’t say everything on our minds, can we ;-)

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