On Being the American Wife of a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus
'Hearing of these places being bombed gives me an intense feeling of sadness.'..My dear Bridget, I know exactly what you mean..However, the rest of my experiences seem to be in contrast with yours.. Let me clarify..I lived in Beirut for three years in the early eighties, with my wife and very young daughter (she was only a few months' old when we had to escape Lebanon). When the Israelis decided to invade Lebanon in 1982, it quickly became clear that Beirut was no place for a Syrian family, so we decided to go back to Damascus.. Our trip on that momentous hot summer day was simply surreal.. As you would expect, the radio in the taxi was tuned on the news all the way through.. Ten minutes after we go past any particular point on the road, the radio announces that that particular point is being bombarded by the Israeli airforce!.. In the end, the Israeli planes caught up with us at the Syrian borders!!.. They started shelling the border point while our taxi was undergoing the ritual search that you so eloquently describe!.. Thankfully, we escaped, and survived to tell the tale!..Your posts are simply delightful.. They fill my heart with such joy (and my eyes with the occasional tear!)..
.We work like a horse.We eat like a pig.We like to play chicken.You can get someone's goat.We can be as slippery as a snake.We get dog tired.We can be as quiet as a mouse.We can be as quick as a cat.Some of us are as strong as an ox.People try to buffalo others.Some are as ugly as a toad.We can be as gentle as a lamb.Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.Some of us drink like a fish.We can be as proud as a peacock.A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.You can get a frog in your throat.We can be a lone wolf.But I'm having a whale of a time!You have a riveting web logand undoubtedly must haveatypical & quiescent potentialfor your intended readership.May I suggest that you doeverything in your power tohonor your encyclopedic/omniscientDesigner/Architect as wellas your revering audience.As soon as we acknowledgethis Supreme Designer/Architect,Who has erected the beauteousfabric of the universe, our mindsmust necessarily be ravished withwonder at this infinate goodness,wisdom and power.Please remember to neverrestrict anyone's opportunitiesfor ascertaining uninterruptedexistence for their quintessence.There is a time for everything,a season for every activityunder heaven. A time to beborn and a time to die. Atime to plant and a time toharvest. A time to kill anda time to heal. A time totear down and a time torebuild. A time to cry anda time to laugh. A time togrieve and a time to dance.A time to scatter stonesand a time to gather stones.A time to embrace and atime to turn away. A time tosearch and a time to lose.A time to keep and a time tothrow away. A time to tearand a time to mend. A timeto be quiet and a time tospeak up. A time to loveand a time to hate. A timefor war and a time for peace. Best wishes for continued ascendancy,Dr. WhoamiP.S. One thing of which I am sure isthat the common culture of my youthis gone for good. It was hollowed outby the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"then splintered beyond hope of repairby the emergence of the web-basedtechnologies that so maximized andfacilitated cultural choice as to makethe broad-based offerings of the oldmass media look bland and unchallengingby comparison."
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