The People of Damascus .. Legacy of Morals and Virtues

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Nobility and authenticity of upbringing, importance and vitality of location,  beauty and richness of nature have met in the city of Damascus to reflect on its sons who drank the fresh water of their city, breathed in its fresh air, made a civilization and handed it down to their children in food, clothing, architecture, taste and morality. 

 The people of Damascus are known for their friendliness, kindness and generosity  from times of old. It is not so strange for those who have worked in trade and created a set of rules that made of the Damascene merchant an example to be followed in kindness and civility.


A researcher and specialist in the heritage of Damascus, Munir Kayal, confirmed that Damascenes solved their problems, without the need for courts, by the people of prestige of the neighborhood or by the eldest member of the  family who held a council of reconciliation so-called "party of the reunion". Both disputing parties offer their arguments before the council and they do not go out until they are extremely satisfied.

Mr.Kayal refers to some patterns of cooperation that characterize the Damascenes such as giving gifts to each other for participation and ease the burden at a time when the others are occupied and unable to do their duty towards guests and visitors. They used to offer bags of sugar and rice to pilgrims and provide  sacrifices to them as a kind of duty. 

Mr. Kayal presents quaint models between Damascenes such as Zagruta (trilling cries of joy by women) exchange in concerts as women were often made in the form of a gift in the happy occasions. This Zagruta may be a lovely recognition or so.

Cooperation is not limited to feasts of rejoicing and weddings but includes other occasions such as calamities and disasters that hit the family, relationship and neighborhood or so.

Mr. Kayal refers to the fire that hit the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus in 1893, and destroyed the mosque in less than three hours.  At that time,  the people of Damascus rushed to restore life to the mosque and every one  put himself and employed his potentials to reconstruct the Umayyad Mosque.

Damascenes have made a special stamp to their city represented in their relationships, their behavior, their aspiration to life and their united stand in weal and woe that motivates us to revive these values in our time.

Sh. Kh.