Gates of Damascus (Lonely Planet Travel Literature Series)

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The Gates of Damascus is a beautifully drawn portrait of daily life in modern-day Syria. Through her intimate contact with Hala, a Damascene, Lieve Joris experiences the routines and celebrations of domestic life in the Middle East. She also witnesses the impact of Syrian politics on the lives of ordinary people. A travel writing classic, Lieve Joris's book offers a unique ...
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Hawthorn, Victoria 1996 Trade paperback First edition. 1st English language edition New. SHIP DAILY from NJ; GIFT-ABLE as NEW FIRST, fresh, NEW (subtle sign of shelf life) NEW ... AS SHOWN THIS COVER B-format paperback. 312 p. Lonely Planet Journeys. Audience: General/trade. 9841 9841--Orig publ in Belgium as De poorten van Damascus in 1993. Through her friendship with a Syrian woman and her family, Lieve Joris leads readers into the fascinating world that lies beyond the gates of Damascus, presenting an intimate portrait of modern Syria. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Gates of Damascus is a beautifully drawn portrait of daily life in modern-day Syria. Through her intimate contact with Hala, a Damascene, Lieve Joris experiences the routines and celebrations of domestic life in the Middle East. She also witnesses the impact of Syrian politics on the lives of ordinary people. A travel writing classic, Lieve Joris's book offers a unique insight into the complexities of the Arab world.

About the Author
Belgian-born Lieve Joris is one of Europe's foremost travel writers. In addition to The Gates of Damascus, she has written an award-winning book on Hungary and widely acclaimed accounts of her journeys to the Middle East and Africa. This English-language edition of The Gates of Damascus was translated by Sam Garrett.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lonely Planet has chosen to launch a new line of travel literature books with this well-written reminiscence of a stay in Syria. Belgium-born Joris visited her Muslim friend Hala and Hala's 11-year-old daughter in Damascus, and she recounts their life in a fundamentalist society. Hala's husband was jailed as a political prisoner when their child was an infant, and her fear of the dreaded mukhabarat or secret police is pervasive. The women spend evenings at home, where they relax in their nightgowns and endlessly discuss Hala's relationship with her husband. She is allowed to visit him, bring changes of clothing as the seasons change and take home trinkets he crafts in jail, but she has fallen in love with someone else and is unsure what she would do when and if he is released. Anxious to see more of Syria, the author goes on a desert walking trip with a group of Syrian Christians, whose sympathy for President Assad is markedly different from Hala's views. The author, who remains a shadowy presence, keeps her own politics largely hidden, although she objects to Hala's rabid anti-Semitism. More about Joris, how she met Hala, or even when this trip took place would have been helpful. As it is, the book offers an interesting portrait of women's daily life in modern Damascus, even if its appeal is limited by the author's personal reticence (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780864423689
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Series: Lonely Planet Travel Literature Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2000

    Meticulously Written

    This book was handed to me as a 'must read' in my first few months studying in Damascus. (thanks Basel)In hindsight i was a virgin to the intricacies of Damascene life until i read it. I applaud the writer for her attention to detail and her treatment of emotive and political issues whilst considering her European background. I was left with significant food for thought and more....READ

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