March 21, 2009

Syrian Mother's Day
Damascus, Syria

The family home that I've found myself in here in Damascus is unquestionably fun and entertaining. I feel like I'm in the midst of my own wacky Turkish/Syrian remix of My Big Fat Greek Wedding—minus the romance and triple the food.

Lunching with Kemal's little cousin

My host is sleeping on the couch, and I've been placed in his "childhood" room—well his room since he was a young teenager at least. Kemal's father is Turkish and his mother's Syrian, with the pair living together with their early-twenties daughter. After some time studying in the States, Kemal found himself in the city of Aleppo, where I was eventually introduced to him by my CouchSurfing host.

Taken under Kemal's wing for the long weekend before my travels to Lebanon, I'm now a part of a warmhearted family with a seemingly endless stream of likewise kind relatives and family friends, in a home where the legendary hospitality of the Turks and the Arabs converge into a blur of food, smiles, comfort, and conversation.

Mother's Day in March?

Yeah, I was a little confused too, but apparently Mother's Day is celebrated on the 21st of March (the spring equinox) in Syria. [sidenote: there are many other countries that celebrate the holiday on this day, as well as a bunch of others on other dates.]

The evening feasting (with the culturally obligatory perpetual heaving of food onto my plate) was followed with dancing, which was followed with a table full of desserts. I loved how the group sang 'Happy Mother's Day' in English, to the tune of 'Happy Birthday'—too cute.

Yet another great belly-bursting day in the throes of Kemal's family.


The United States


May 17th, 2009

Neat times!!! For real.

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