Syria: A Stroll Around the Blogosphere

This week we will take a random walk around different blogs, and different topics in a maze that is little different than the random markets of Aleppo.

Our first stop will be at Hanzala‘s Departure unto God, where he writes about his decision to quit his job:

جرت العادة أن يحتفل أحدنا بعيد ميلاده بعيد الحب أو بعيد الشجرة حتى ، و لكني سأحتفل اليوم بمناسبة مرور عام على توظيفي في إحدى مؤسسات الدولة ، و أنا لن أوزع حلوى أو كاتو بل سأكتفي بهذه المقالة فحسب ،  أكتب هذه الكلمات و إنه ليحز في نفسي كثيراً أن أكتبها ، لأن الواحد منا يركض طول العمر ليحصل على تلك الوظيفة و ينتهي بهم الأمر بعد عام كما هي حالي الآن أرفع كتاباً أطلب فيه إعفائي منها .
Traditionally one would celebrate his birthday, or Valentine's Day or even Tree's Day, yet today I will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of my employment at a state-run company. I will not be giving out candy or cake, this article will suffice. It pains me dearly to be writing these words, because one of us would spend his life toiling to get this job, yet they end up a year later, like myself now, writing this resignation letter.

We leave Hanzala to ponder the derelict state of Syria's public sector and his decision to quit, and we move to a little more joyful topic.

As with every Friday, the blogosphere was blessed with the new installment of Abufares and Mariyah‘s Sea Side collaborative story. In Part 29, you'll read:

Yasmina sat down on the couch behind me. Obviously she had seen way beyond the sexy smile.”Oh, Houssam. Oh god, Houssam.” She couldn’t hold back her tears and as she cried her heart out again, I knew that I couldn’t let her down. I would just have to hope that Youssef would forgive me…someday.

“We’ll go in the morning, Yasmina. I’ll be here early. Ok?” I said as soothingly as I could.

And on the topic of love and Valentines, Untold Damascene Stories, the blog of FW Magazine, publishes a report about the commercialization of Valentine's Day on the streets of Damascus:

For Syrians, who also aren’t safe from the hands of commercialism, the rituals of valentine start a month before Feb the 14th. Guys start calling their friends to ask for money; No “man” wants to be caught penniless in front of their girl friends on Valentine’s. Restaurants start preparations with decorations and special offers “For Families Only,” “No single men allowed.” 50 liras red roses magically gain an extra zero, turning to 500 liras. And finally, cell phone companies start spamming their customers with bulk messages, such as: “Send a message to #### with your partner’s name to join the ‘Lover’s Day competition’ or to ‘test your compatibility.’”

Politics is also a featured staple in any conversation, and Syria Comment brings us the latest updates and analysis from around Syria and the world, with the provocative headline of “Has Washington Decided to Focus on Syrian-Israeli Peace?“:

In short, the return of an ambassador is good, but playing along with a peace process that is long on process and short on peace will be difficult for Syria, which has none of the media savvy that Israel has. Damascus undoubtedly fears that Mitchell will ask Syrians to meet with Netanyahu without conditions. Syria believes this is tantamount to normalizing relations without any Israeli concession.

And finally, we'll sit down with Syrian Foodie in London, and finish our tour with a delicious Damascene treat, Ful Nabit:

Ful Nabit is boiled fava beans served with salt and cumin. The seller cart will have huge pot with the beans slowly simmering. The beans are served in a proper glass or china bowls rather than paper wrap or a plastic plate, which I find adds a nice touch. to the experience. You usually get a glass of the cooking stock and half a lemon to accompany your ful. The cooking stock flavoured with salt, cumin and a squeeze of lemon makes a delicious (but not at all pretty) side drink.

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