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I moved to another hostel, the Al-Rabie hostel outside of the walled old town which turned out to be the best hostel at which I have ever stayed, from both a people and ambiance point of view. Although like the immediate area, it looks nothing other than shabby from the outside. But step inside. Cool!
Went for a shave and ...
... a meeting place for gay people then anything else. When I got into a little steam-room (alone), some other guys got quite interested in Sam and started to throw water at him (their version of flirting I guess). Sam was the target again at the scrub (no scrub needed under the towel) and the massage (no, not coming back after hours). I thought it was quite funny, but we ended up leaving quicker then expected, just in case; the numbers and odds were stacked against us... ...
... baptized Saul.The Chuch is five meters below ground level and consists of two rooms with stone walls an altar and some icons. It is very simple but often simplicity has powerful meaning.
I saw in many of the walls notices announcing the deaths of people (this made think of Spain where we do the same in small towns ).
I found the people of Damascus extremely friendly. At the end of the day I used to stop at the shop of a young man,where I would ...
... world are sacrificed to honor this obedience.
Eid is a three day holiday which involves many practices. The normally rigorous standards of personal cleanliness take on increased importance, people are to dress in their best clothes, recite additional prayers, and observe the charitable practices that are a cornerstone of Muslim beliefs. Families that are able to afford it, pay for an animal to be sacrificed in their name. The sacrificed animal is divided into three ...
... history. From Marmusa we drove on to Maalula where we went to the Church of St. Thecla; walked through the cleft that God was said to have cut into the mountainside allowing St. Thecla to make her escape from soldiers; and the church of St. Sergius and Bacchus, which was just beautiful. Simple and built on the site of a pagan temple, where the sacrificial altars now served as the altars of the chapel, it was adorned with magnificent paintings ...