Cleopatra's Wedding Present: Travels Through Syria - download pdf or read online

By Robert Tewdwr Moss

Notwithstanding Syria has started to open itself as much as the overseas visitor, for plenty of people it is still a sinister and forbidding vacation spot. Syria's monumentally unwelcoming country equipment - and its fraught politics - may possibly defeat even the main made up our minds adventurer. because the idlest and so much easy-going of explorers, Robert Tewdwr Moss side-steps possibility to luxuriate in Turkish baths and muse at the ironies of existence and love. His Syria is usually a spot of contrasts: from concrete esplanades swept via sizzling dusty winds and all-seeing digital eyes, with photographs of President Assad covered up aspect through facet in surreal massed ranks, to abandoned again streets the place mud-brick homes cave in into themselves like melted chocolate. He visits the mythical urban of Palmyra and stumbles upon a shred of 2000-year-old mummy. After assisting to rescue the relics from an ossuary of Armenian massacre-victims, he leaves a bagful of bones on a bus. he's publicly denounced by way of a paranoid alcoholic London author and stoned through Saddam-sympathizing youths in Syria's restive jap provinces. He follows within the footsteps of a 19th-century English woman tourist, and falls hopelessly in love with a Palestinian ex-commando. Robert Tewdwr Moss's Syria is a dour, aggravating land - a spot which draws the oddest characters and the place the oddest issues happen.

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Additional resources for Cleopatra's Wedding Present: Travels Through Syria

Sample text

From dawn to dusk, nothing but noise, noise, noise. ’ I asked her what it was like living in Aleppo as a Christian. She directed a withering look at me, as if to say: Don’t come that old divisive chestnut with me. ‘I’ll tell you in one word what it’s like: excellent. ’ She suddenly sounded impatient, so much so that I wasn’t sure whether she meant on her premises or in the country. ‘Oh, a few months, I expect,’ I said vaguely. ‘It’ll get hot,’ she warned. ’ ‘Hot,’ she growled, like Louis Armstrong.

I asked obtusely, handing him a tea glass of locally made cherry brandy. ‘Karim, of course. He cannot stop pestering George. Day in, day out. Talking about him. Turning up at his flat and if he’s out just waiting. George says he only lent him the Walkman to get rid of him and now Karim is refusing to give it back. ’ I was about to make soothing noises when I remembered what I wanted to ask him. ‘Rupert, why exactly are you here? It can’t be just for Karim. ’ He looked startled that I should have diverted him from his problem.

We had no time to explore further as darkness was approaching. We bumped back along the track to Harim and miraculously arrived in the town in time to catch a connecting bus to Aleppo. That night Baby Shoes turned up at George’s flat and the conversa­ tion turned to Gladys. ‘Ah, Gladys. It is always “When I was in New York I did this, when I was in New York it was like that”,’ laughed Baby Shoes, ‘but you know, she only lived there two years. Her problem is she has no man. Well, sometimes there is one, but you know, he is Lebanese and he fuck girl, he fuck boy, he fuck donkey.

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