Scene from Chez Moi (باب توما) For my first month here, I’m renting a room from a Syrian family in Damascus’ Old City. The city walls play host to most of the University populace, it seems. This is the view from my roof, away from the bustle of the narrow streets below. In our courtyard, the muezzins’ ezan converges five times a day from several surrounding mosques. Their watches are a few minutes apart, but they eventually crescendo before the first call reaches the final line, confirming la llah ila Allah - “there is no God but Allah”. On the horizon of the photo is Jebel Qassioun, limiting the sprawl at the northern edge of city, rising above the pollution. As night falls, the Damascene nights get pretty cold; I’ve taken to sleeping in my sleeping bag under the blankets. The 7am dash to the shower across the terrace is still chilly, but by the time I eat breakfast, the sun is touching a corner of it, allowing me to eat en terrasse. Most houses have a big water tank on the roof, holding reserves. The drinking water here shuts off at 2pm for the day, so filling bottles is my little morning ritual - I’m determined not to rely on bottled water after seeing its effects on the beaches at Tartous & Lattakia.

Scene from Chez Moi (باب توما)

For my first month here, I’m renting a room from a Syrian family in Damascus’ Old City. The city walls play host to most of the University populace, it seems.

This is the view from my roof, away from the bustle of the narrow streets below. In our courtyard, the muezzins’ ezan converges five times a day from several surrounding mosques. Their watches are a few minutes apart, but they eventually crescendo before the first call reaches the final line, confirming la llah ila Allah - “there is no God but Allah”.

On the horizon of the photo is Jebel Qassioun, limiting the sprawl at the northern edge of city, rising above the pollution.

As night falls, the Damascene nights get pretty cold; I’ve taken to sleeping in my sleeping bag under the blankets. The 7am dash to the shower across the terrace is still chilly, but by the time I eat breakfast, the sun is touching a corner of it, allowing me to eat en terrasse.

Most houses have a big water tank on the roof, holding reserves. The drinking water here shuts off at 2pm for the day, so filling bottles is my little morning ritual - I’m determined not to rely on bottled water after seeing its effects on the beaches at Tartous & Lattakia.