One Year Older
A year ago today, I was running around a forest just outside of Paris, trying to escape from the problems to which I had awoken, feeling rather confused and unsure of where the day would lead.
For my twenty-eighth birthday, I was stood on top of Jebel Qassioun at 1200m, the mountain that overlooks Syria’s capital. This time, I didn’t question where the day would lead, but I did pose myself several questions on where this coming year would lead, as well as questioning the decisions I had made in the twelve months leading up to this point.
We had planned on hiking up the Damascus side of the mountain to go and explore what was on the other side, which turned out to be some wonderful looking mountains in the distance. As we left the barren, stony landscape to rejoin a road, we saw a sign indicating that where we had just come from was a military zone, and that there was strictly “No Entry. No Cameras”. Both rules broken then. I forget how much freedom to just roam we have back in England, and in France.
With no way to reach these mountains, we wandered back through the steep, windy streets of Damascus’ charming Salihiyya district. After meeting with other friends in the Old Town over shay and narghile, the evening was spent with a bottle of arak, followed by an Iraqi restaurant in Jaramana.
Here’s to an interesting year…