Year Abroad in Syria – Day #65

01/11/08

Day 65

The weather here has started to get pretty cold, especially in the evenings and for the first time I’m having to wear my jacket outside. It’s also been raining a little more, but is still very occasional. During class the other day we could hear thunder outside and because it was so unexpected my first reaction was that it was another explosion of some kind, but soon realised it was nothing to worry about. After all, in my experience so far, you never know with Damascus!

Speaking of explosions, this time round it was the Americans who were causing some noise in Syria, having crossed the border from Iraq. Some Syrians were so upset that they even called it an act of American terrorism! On Thursday there were Syrians holding protests outside of the US embassy here in Damascus. Of course, I stayed well clear of the area, but could still see the affect it was having on the traffic heading in that direction.

Last week a new Persian language course began at the college and so I decided to join the class and pick up my Persian studies from where I had left off. The class runs in the evenings, so doesn’t clash with my Arabic, and is three times a week, for two and a half hours at a time. This class is quite different to what I was used to in Durham, however, as the class here is taught all in Arabic, since the students in the class are all either Arab or Turkish. I am finding though that it is actually very useful, not only for my Persian but also my Arabic. There are some exercises that we have to do, for example, that require us to translate from Arabic into Persian, in which case I have to first translate from Arabic into English and then into Persian! I’m absolutely loving the class so far and am finding the Persian to be quite a welcome breath of fresh air from all the Arabic I am doing.

Tomorrow I am having internet installed in my apartment, so hopefully it should be a little easier to keep in touch and you might see me on Skype a little more.

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