Welcome to Syria
Nevertheless, you feel a pleasant feeling when you come to an unfamiliar country, a local resident is celebrating you at the airport, which after the first greetings goes to the purest our. This happened to us, a delegation of journalists who arrived in Syria.
The first thing we heard, joining someone else’s land, there was a traditional Arabic greeting – "Akhlan Va Sakhlan" (Welcome). And then immediately sounded our speech – we got to acquaint me with the country of Nuri Farchhan, a graduate of one of the Soviet universities, then three years later, a correspondent of the Syrian news agency, who worked in Moscow (Sana). Our Vergili did a very wise, making the first point of the entire program to treat strong coffee and floral tea, which was very weltering for poverty after the flight of travelers.
With the help of Faryhan in a few days, we quickly convinced how interesting and inexhaustible is rich in Damascus, who cannot leave any at least any inquisitive arrival. When it is told about him as one of the oldest cities on Earth, it is not empty words – references to Damascus can be found in the Bible.
However, all the stages of the city’s history are easily and clearly traced in his architecture. Here you can meet expressive examples of antique architecture. For example, the temple columns remained from the Romans, the ruins of the aqueducts, for which water ran.
Fucked to Mount Kasyun and framed by the oasis of Guta Damascus on three sides and now continues to grow. There are high-speed highways, build high-altitude houses, apartments in which Moscow standards are not suiced. The city will hear one of the most picturesque and green Arab capitals.
But the heart of Damascus is, of course, the old town that keeps the spirit of an old time: it is easy to get lost in the maze of narrow, cobbled streets. Khakavati, or obstellers, thereby maintaining the old traditions of the oral story.
Damascus Singing Ancient Fortress Walls With Eight Gate. Near the gate of the Citadel, one of the largest markets at the Arab East – Al-Hamidium is located. Prices there are low, though, only for those who know how to bargain.
Hamidium is not only numerous shops, but also hairdressers, workshops, as well as neighboring mosques and churches. Stone around the market, do not miss the rows of spices and shops, where, it seems, all the incense is collected. The most remarkable thing is not only trading in spirits, but also make up smells. This skill is usually transmitted from the Father to the Son. Turning to such a perfume, one of our companions joked: And whether you will make a bouquet of odors that will be like the French perfume "Chanel". Perfume smiled and gave an answer, the full consciousness of his professional dignity: my spirits will not be worse.
Al-Hamidiya market smoothly goes to the Bab El Barid Street, which, as if theatrical scenery, the columns of gray marble will come out. That’s all that remains from ancient times. Once there was an ancient Roman temple of Jupiter, built in the third century. The famous Mosque of Omeyad is located across the street. At this place used to be the Byzantine Church of John the Baptist, rebuilt into the mosque after the conquest of Arabs Damascus. Prior to that, everyone prayed in the same building – Muslims in Western, Christians – in Eastern.
Damascus is notable for the fact that in this city still Muslims and Christians live in peace and harmony. Already in Moscow we followed the development "Caricature" scandal, and was unexpected to observe the rage of the Muslim demonstration in the city, which we recently left and who conquered us with their peacefulness. Walking through the streets of Damascus – one pleasure, and afternoon, and in the evening, there are no fear of hooligans and thieves. Residents do not miss the opportunity to show their friendliness in relation to foreigners, especially our. By the way, we even got the impression that from foreign languages there are most of all known. And look at the car movement in the capital: with all its intensity, especially in the rush hour, there is practically no disassembly between drivers of cars, if someone is very in a hurry, then the path will be fired.
In order for your impression of Damascus to be truly complete, be sure to admire it in the evening from the top of Kasyun Mountain, towering over the city quarters. The view from there opens fantastic – the streets are filled with orange lights with numerous green splashes of neon belts on mosques minarets.
In general, Syria is a picturesque country. Gusto-covered with greenery fabulous mountain resorts of Bludan and Bludyanniya coexist with bare suspended winds. You can meet sand dunes and thick pine bors, lagoon of transparent water color Aquamarine and endless spaces of sands.
The gracious climate and soil of the Mediterranean coast are ideal for the cultivation of olives, not a gift olive tree has become since ancient times by the national symbol of Syria. Whole groves of these trees still cover extensive spaces of the country.
Convenient geographical position and other benefits were constantly attracted by the invaders, the Egyptian pharaohs, Hitts, Assyrians, Persians and Turks dominated at different times. They, of course, were invaders, but they also left the offspring of unmeasurable wealth – in the country more than ten thousand historical monuments of various eras having a global importance. This is ugay, and apameha, and Palmyra, and Bosra, the remaining traces of the era of the invasion of the Crusaders in the form of perfectly preserved castles of Marcab and Salah Ad-Dean. These are numerous ancient churches, biblical shrines and the historical values of the Islamic world.
To visit Syria means to get acquainted with the history of human civilization and touch its origins, the Minister of Tourism Caidalla Aga Al-Cala said in a conversation with us. Here, with us, the alphabet was invented, trade, metallurgy, agriculture, urban planning and diplomacy. The foundations of many religious and philosophical doctrines appeared on this land. On the territory of Syria, the events discussed in the old and new covenants. All this means Syria has colossal opportunities for the development of cognitive tourism and pilgrimage.
From the conversation with the minister it became clear that the most energetic measures to expand tourism are now accepted in Syria. He is considered now how "New direction in the development of the economy". A new legislative base has been adopted with the hope that it will help to attract investments in the tourist business. There are already visible results of the new approach: in December last year, a new modern hotel has been opened in Damascus "FORE SIZONS" ("Four Seasons") owned by Saudi capital. There is every reason to expect that the sea coast will appear new hotels of world hotel business leaders, such as "Sheraton" and "Sophytel".
For 2005, Syria was visited over 3.3 million people, most of them are citizens of Arab countries. The number of tourists from Europe amounted to 800 thousand, and from them ours – only 35 thousand, and half of them "Chelovela". Given the friendly nature of relations between the two countries, this is not enough, the Minister believes. This assessment shares the our side. To achieve essential success in this direction, a joint our-Syrian Tourism Commission has been created.
At the meeting with the minister went about religious tourism. In his opinion, to discuss this issue it is advisable to meet representatives of the media and various denominations of the two countries. According to the minister, pilgrims useful to see a unique example of peaceful interfaith relations. In Syria, the religion of the overwhelming majority of the population is Islam, which, although perishes all the pores of society, but is formally separated from the state. Every tenth in the country is a Christian.
In the truth of these words, we were convinced by visiting one of the Christian shrines – the Patriarch Monastery of the Holy Fekla in Maalule. It is located 56 kilometers to the northeast of Damascus in the mountains Kalason. Maaalulya – the most famous corners preserved to this day on Earth, associated with the early era of the appearance of Christianity, the population of which still says in Aramaic – in the language of Jesus Christ.
We will remind readers that at the beginning of our era, the Aramaic language was the main language of communication in a number of areas of the Eastern Mediterranean. Here is the cave in which the holy equal to the Apostles Fekla lived and buried – the student of the Holy Apostle Paul. Introducing us with a monastery of Igumbena Marina Amed told the dramatic history of the holy, striking imagination and our contemporaries, although it occurred two thousand years ago. The young daughter of the ruler of Iconference under the deep impression of the sermons of the Apostle Paul rejected the pagan gods, and the Father ordered to burn her alive. But the Most High interceded for the bold sortie: the shower and the fire hung the fire and the fire. Hungry lions also could not touch the girl. Unfortunate managed to run from the pursuers, and, salting, she got to the opposite of Kalamun, who became a barrier on the way of exhausting righteous. And then there is a miracle: the mighty rock from the ground to the clouds is splitting in two, opening her winding passing. In the cave, where the righteent was hidden from the chase, she spent the remaining years, carrying his feat of the ministry to the Lord, healing patients and cripples with the help of a holy source and herbury.
Now here is the female Orthodox monastery, and obedients care about maintaining the monastery and raise orphans. The church in the monastery is named after John the Baptist as a sign that.Fekla first in these places baptized newly drawn Christians.
I happened to visit the famous monastery of the Orthodox patriarchate named after the Mother of God "Sydena", Which is 20 kilometers from Maaaluli in the town of the same name. Side is partially in the valley, partly on the slopes of the rocky hill, whose vertex is crowning the monastery. We kindly accepted the prisons of the monastery of Queena Haji Christina, who became the obedient 53 years ago. According to her, the Sydna Monastery is the stronghold of Orthodoxy in the East and ranks second after Jerusalem in its importance and the number of pilgrims attending holy places. In his walls there is a miraculous icon of the Mother of God, which helps all people of any religion who appeals to her with faith in healing and help.
This is one of the four icons written by legend, Holy Apostle and Evangelical Luke. An invaluable relic is kept in Silver Larz, hidden in a niche for a metal grille.
And now a little about earthly affairs. As you know, the foundations of the independent economy of Syria were created with the assistance of Soviet specialists. In the country, with their participation, over 200 industrial facilities were built. 1990 were, to put it mildly, not the most successful in bilateral relations. But from the turn of the new century there is an increase in bilateral relations.
Taking us, member of the leadership of the ruling party "Baas", Minister of Finance and Economy Mohammed Al-Hussein first noted that a recent settlement during the Moscow meeting in the top of the most acute problem of bilateral relations – the problems of Syrian debt – stimulated the economic cooperation and implementation of joint projects that were in a frozen state. Moscow agreed to write off Syria 73 percent of its public debt. We are talking about 9.78 of $ 13.4 billion, which make up the total debt of Syria by our country.
A breakthrough in the economic field The Minister called the agreement on the construction of a turnkey enterprise 70 kilometers from the city of Palmir, which will process gas from the fields of the Central Syrian Plateau (Abu Slavs, Kumkum and North El Fayad).
A gas pipeline with a length of 324 kilometers from the Jordan border to Homsa – Center of the Oil and Gas Industry of Syria will be built. It will become part of a giant project "Arab Gaz", For which the Egypt Blue Fuel from El Arisha enters the neighboring Arab countries and Turkey.