Top Ten Reasons Why Syria Is Fabulous
By Sophia Rose Shafi
10. All of the beautiful tree groves. Syria has a holiday in late December on which massive tree plantings occur.
9. The hotel where I stayed that was filled with lovely Syrians, who graciously sent me a giant tray of baqlawa when they inadvertently forgot my wake-up call and made me hot tea while I recovered from H1N1.
8. Polo. The Syrian drink made from lemon juice, fresh mint, and ridiculous amounts of sugar, which I will attempt to recreate all summer long.
7. Bakdash – the wonderful ice creamery.
6. The Sayyida Ruqayya and Sayyida Zainab shrines, as well as all the smaller shrines in Bab al Saghir.
5. Palmyra – the largest Roman ruin in the world, of which a team of archaeologists determined it would take 200 years to excavate.
4. The garlic chicken at Crak de Chavalier, which is indescribable to those who have not eaten it.
3. St. George’s Church in Ezra, where George is likely buried.
2. Ghraoui chocolate, of which I brought back 45 bars and a box of truffles.
1. The very nice man at the Damascus airport who did not charge me for all of the Syrian chocolate, paintings, and brocade, which resulted in a $220 surplus luggage charge in Vienna.