Welcome to Vulture Town

It’s the land of Orpheus and serpents and dancing trees, and where the landscape has been carved by dragons

Read More

Abandoned in Idlib

Atmeh camp clings to the side of a hill on the edge of the Syrian-Turkish border. Colored plastic bags flap like flags trapped in the rolls of razor wire that separate the two countries. Turkish soldiers watch from a guard post on the hill above. And just to be clear, Atmeh camp is on the…

Read More

Eye Spy in Damascus

Finding more time on my hands than one would realistically hope for I delved into the dusty recesses of long forgotten cardboard boxes and started re-reading books that have languished for the last seventeen years; they were all kept for a reason, quarantined due to pandemic not being one of them. They were books that…

Read More

Syrian Literary List

14 Books to help understand more about Syria, its war and much more.

Read More

Syria, Nine Grueling Years

Sitting in silence on a red sofa, gaze transfixed to a muted tv. January 2011. I had hardly left that sofa just watching history unfold via al Jazeera, this time I was squeezed between Syrian friends with tears in their eyes. We were in Syria and the revolution was in Egypt and of all the…

Read More

The Rubbish Collectors of Istanbul

Faceless men and women, struggling up rain soaked cobbled hills clogged with traffic. Faces windswept and facing the floor. Ignored and cursed in equal measure. These wretched images as iconic in Istanbul as the minarets and monuments, stealthy tourists will often try and snap them as they haul a burlap load past shops with shelves…

Read More

Black Sea

Black Sea At that (Homeric) time, the sea was not navigable and was called Axenos (inhospitable) because of its wintery storms and the tribes that lived around it, and in particularly the Sythians in that they sacrificed strangers… But later it was called Euxeinos (friendly to strangers) when the Ionians founded cities on the seaboard.…

Read More

Tarlabaşı; An Ode.

Saying goodbye to Tarlabasi Tarlabasi is a hive of informal commerce, the streets alive, trade and toil and the struggle to survive in a city overwhelmed, carts with squeaky wheels pushed up and down the hills, hawkers crying and calling, the rag and bone man and the Sahlep seller, in the afternoons the itinerant musicians…

Read More

The Cowboys Of Cappadocia

Strabo must have scrambled his way to the peak of Erciyes, one of the Volcanoes that surround the tectonic crossroads of Cappadocia in the heart of Anatolian Turkey, scribbling in his ancient notebook he could see both the Black sea to the north and the Mediterranean to the south, he was less than three hundred…

Read More

That Time in Cairo When I Met Mahfouz

Cairo, a steaming mess of a city that has the capacity to at first seduce and serenade you then almost immediately slap and violate you, and yet, despite it all you keep coming back for more. And here I was, back again. On the balcony of my scruffy room in the Hotel Hussein, the hotel…

Read More