“Damascus is the centre of the world,”

My guide, Abdul, is getting into his stride. “Damascus is the centre of the world,” he says. “Just look at a map! It’s exactly at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. That is why, in the days of the Arab empire, it was the richest city in the world. All the Silk Road traders stopped here. Everyone!” He breaks off as the waiter brings our coffee, and chats briefly to the boy in Arabic (“He’s one of my students from my Heritage Tourism class!”) while I gaze around. I’m in love. Not with Abdul, endearing though he is, and with whom I am sitting in the Damascus National Museum’s open-air café – a vineroofed affair, with tree stumps for table supports, overlooking the museum’s straggly garden filled with ancient statues. A thoroughly knowledgeable guide is the greatest travel luxury – and Abdul is the best in the city, according to the local Madame Fixit.

From Cuneiform Writings Wisdoms, Proverbs and Debates Excerpted From Cuneiform Writings

Proverbs are mirrors of peoples, which reflect their knowledge and views of life. They are records of their experiences, stores of their philosophies, and reflections of their spirits, consciences, habits and traditions. They are the literature and the symbol of culture, mentality and morality. They also reflect the contradictions, paradoxes and positive faces of life. As such, we preferred to present to you some old proverbs and wisdoms (derived from the environment and human experiences of ancient peoples) which we found recorded on cuneiform tablets discovered in Mesopotamia and the Levant and belong to the third and second millenniums BC.

Guardian of Oriental Heritage

Syria, for many centuries, was rich in professions and handicrafts which were the fruit of civilizations that rose and prospered on its land, and as a result of the human needs of the people who lived in it. With the passage of time these professions changed into traditional crafts practiced by skilful craftsmen and talented artists who enriched our heritage with wonderful pieces of art and spread all over the world. With the industrial revolution and the introduction of modern technologies these oriental crafts started to retract, which means the loss of a valuable and beautiful heritage.

European Travelers and Magic of the Orient

In the middle of the fifth Century BC, in his book “History” the Greek historian Herodotus attracted the attention of the Greeks to another world located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean; a world full of charm and beauty, and said it is necessary to explore it and discover its details. These words left a great desire in the west towards the East which, with the passage of time, it became the symbol of magic, dreams, philosophy, veiled women, Arabian Nights, Scheherazade and Shehriar, and above all, charm and ecstasy. To explore this magic Orient and its geographical attractions many European travelers ventured into it during the last three hundred years to reveal some of its secrets.

Syria and the New Silk Road

Ulf Sandmark to the Syria Times:

 Syria’s geographical position connects the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa in the World Land-Bridge.

Ulf Sandmark, economist and Stockholm correspondent for executive intelligence review, a member of the visiting delegation, presented a document for Syrian reconstruction projects, including a number of key tracks setting out the country’s main priorities. He expressed his desire to find local partners to assist in setting up proposed projects.Ulf Sandmark told Syria Times that  the Defending Syria Body Founded in Sweden in 2012,  provides humanitarian and financial assistance to Syria, while helping Syrian expatriates and businessmen engage in supporting the Syrian people and contributing to the reconstruction process.