Sunday, September 30, 2012

A video of Aleppo

I just have to share this video of Aleppo with you. In August of 2004, we took a bus from Damascus to Lattakia to go see Kazim al-Saher in concert, on the beach. Then we took another bus, from Lattakia to Aleppo. (Note to the world: never do this. Take the train, because the bus is hot and motion-sicky.) On that bus ride, I learned the meaning of khallas, as it was used by a mother to ask her daughter if she was done puking.

This was our first visit to Aleppo. We stayed in a crappy hostel - a favorite pasttime of ours in the Middle East - but had a great time exploring Syria's second city. Here is a short clip from the footage we took on the trip. It starts with a view of Aleppo from the top of the Citadel. After that, there is footage of the old souk, which is right across the street from the Citadel.

I apologize in advance for the headache you might get watching this shaky footage. Syria was a place where you couldn't just casually bust out the video camera. So we often did that thing where you hold it nonchalantly to the side like it's off, but actually you're filming the whole time. Anyway, that's why it's so wobbly.

Enjoy the Aleppo Souq, as was.


Kathy Haynie said...

LOVE IT! Especially the jingly donkey. Was that a scooter I caught a glimpse of earlier on? Quick glimpses of Bridget's back - wondering if that's when you felt Miriam move? Good spy-technique with the cam. Makes me think of the photo blog Katie started for her 3-year-old daughter Olivia, where many of the people photos are from the knees to the chest. No heads. :) This is exactly the thing you were saying in your earlier post, about the REAL PEOPLE that live in the places that are on the news. I found myself wondering if those shopkeepers are alive, and what they will do for their livelihoods.

Bridget said...

This is before I was pregnant. We went to Aleppo several times. And yes, that IS a scooter toward the beginning! Don't ask me what all those meat parts are, though.

Brooke said...

Oh Bridget, thanks for sharing these images and videos. My heart just aches for the people in Syria right now. Thanks for making everything a bit more real.

Liz Johnson said...

I assume you heard well before I did about all of the explosions in Aleppo today. I was also looking at the slideshow they link to, and it made me wonder - where are people fleeing to? Are they able to stay within Syria and stay safe? Or are they fleeing to Jordan and other neighboring nations? Is there a huge refugee crisis that I'm not hearing about here in the US??

Bridget said...

Yes, there is a huge refugee problem. I've read about refugees going to Turkey, Jordan, and especially Lebanon. I think I even heard that some refugees are going to Iraq.

Within Syria, I don't know where they're going. I had the same question as you - are they just going into the countryside? You read about internally displaced refugees living in schools, even.

Liz Johnson said...

I'm really having a hard time understanding how 30,000 people have been killed in the last eighteen months and yet I don't hear anybody talking about it (in the US). There's an occasional headline, but no coverage like during the Egyptian revolution, and not even Libya. Do you have any idea why the western media (and perhaps western politicians) are more reluctant to talk about this particular crisis?!

Bridget said...

I don't know why Egypt and Libya made for a more attractive news media package than Syria. Maybe it's just fatigue, at this point. Egypt had the advantage of being more known to Americans. Libya had the drama of a known bad-guy leader. Syria seems like it was/is kind of an unknown for Americans. That's my best guess - maybe it's hard to care about something if you didn't know about it in the first place.

Susanne said...

Samer's brother said when the attacks were in Damascus a few weeks ago that he woke up one day and looked out the window to find many people sleeping in the streets. (They live in Mezzeh). I think sometimes people travel from neighborhood to neighborhood depending on which ones they think are safer.

Samer's family went to Egypt and then Lebanon (because they didn't care for Cairo) when it got fairly bad in Damascus, but now they are home.

I see mostly Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon mentioned as places refugees go outside the country, and many Iraqis who fled to Syria during the US invasion and occupation have returned to their home country.

I see a fair amount of coverage, but I tend to look for it. Also subscribing to

is helpful if you want links in English on your news feed.

I think in the US we have so much else we find worthy of coverage (election stuff, the latest shooting spree, what Lindsay Lohan is doing now) that we don't bother with keeping news from Syria in front of people. Arabs are fighting each other? *yawn*


Thanks for your posts, Bridget. I enjoy your memories of Syria. By the way, I was in a local consignment shop this afternoon and found a Harley Davidson shirt for my nephew and it was made in Syria! I don't know that I've never seen "made in Syria" on clothes before.

Anonymous said...

Oh Syria.. Oh my Aleppo :(

btw I found your blog when we were going to move to Aleppo from Turkey (some of your post about the AC and particularly the oven freaked me out a bit :-p) and now we are relocated to Jordan after 2 blasts in feb. It is interesting that we kind of following your path so I wont be surprised if one day we ended up in sharjah :-p



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