that what we do, culture.

The month of February holds the promise of a new cultural activities.

you see, my friend Sam (who is now in Denmark) used to introduce me as a “cultural addict” and he was right, well that what I appeared to be at least.

My story with following the cultural activities (they are called so right?) started way back in 2004 when I used to pay regular visits to the French Cultural Center in Damascus, I used to get all their brochures which have the events and exihibtions organized by the Center for each two months.

fast forward to today, I still go there. actually just today I passed (intentionally) in front of the center and saw the new exihibition.

However, the current cultural scene is not what one hopes for and that because of many reasons : first the people changed and the quality of the activities changed.

When I say that the people changed I mean the kind of people who are interested in culture got a little disinterested and fewer and fewer are going to events or attending concerts.

a related fact is the decreasing number of good quality culture, that is (and I don’t purport to be a judge here) the events are more focused on the exposure they offer to the organizer rather than the actual content. well, that in turn has many reasons and is regretably part of a drive to empty the cultural scene of its viberant and educating role to be just another item on a “cultural” agenda.

take for example the latest Palestinian cinema days by the Goethe Institute, I thought the event was very much directed to serve an agenda by catering to a certain segment or group of people living in Damascus, and I say living because most are not from the city.

I say that because I talked to a friend after one film was over and the film was not to his likeness, which is understandable given that the film had a certain message and a very political one. although I have to admit that I found the film to be very good (it is called “salt of the sea”).

my point is, we should refocus on the needs to further a local cultural movement and not one that is diverted by media concerns.

media coverage will naturally occure and this blog is here to report all the good culture that is to come:)


my first observation

Today I went to the Assad Library and then I had a work meeting in the afternoon.

the work meting was brief and a new project is on its way, so I was glad for the good news and as I left the cafe where the meeting was I decided to not go directly back home but to continue walking.

one thing you notice when you live in Damascus is how people are crammed into small spaces :small microbuses, narrow streets and small shops, even the cafes are somewhat stuffed (I think).

creating a healthy public space is one of the major obligations for a sound urban environment, and that is a very important issue that no one seems to notice or care about.

take for example the traffic jam that has been created due to the construction of a tunel (so I have learned via Twitter!) and that blaguing the city with more congestion and causing more hassle.

I don’t know how many times a tunnel has been built, but we have a bunch of them and in my opinion all are redundant and ugly, because I don’t like going underground.

when starting a new project like this one, the government should provide sufficient explanation about the reasons for it and the benifits that the project would render, I even tried to look every where in the newspapers when I was at the library and couldn’t find a proper article about this.

my point is:  infrastructure  should be a balance between the need to develop the city while maintaining that it is conducted in a way that is responsible and responsive to the need enhance the public space, and that is a matter that we all have a stake in.

Blogging past and present

as usual I sit to write a new post, however this time it is not on a personal blog.

I have just deleted three+ years of blogging (both on wordpress and blogspot) and I feel that this fresh start will help me with my new path that I have choosen.

I may sound really depressed right now, but it is not the case, my new start has to do with starting my own business as an entreprenuer and my interest in being a social leader and of course a renewed social life.

This blog will have a certain topic to talk about which is the documentation of the rise of Damascus (as observed by me) to be the next big center for the Middle East.


Yasser Sadeq