Jad | Ph.D., Urban Design & City planning Syria
April 20th, 2009

Re: ‘Syria is ...

Syria is a living myth in each and every person who wants to be called Syrian. It is as unique as our souls and as diverse as our thinking. It is the radical, the liberal and everything in-between, you can see it in our courtesy and in our offensiveness, in our passion, our emotions, in anger and the gentle tone we speak with. In our accent speaking English or French. It is in our love of western culture and in our hate of occupation of Arab lands by western powers. It is in our tears and laughs, Syria is the beginning and the end, we want to be buried there so we can get back to our original soil.

All the above are just words, true, but merely words, dreams and illusions of our nostalgia to our beautiful ‘Syria’ that is imprinted deep in our minds. Syria that we dream of, Syria that we desire, however, is in reality is quite different. Syria today is no the beautiful static image we want or dream of. Syria, now is just another country with boarders, laws, parliament, president and a sizable population. In reality Syria lack the ‘energy’ necessary to move. Not oil, wind or solar energy, … the energy I am referring to emenates from the Syrian people’s ideas, efforts and their honest drive to do better, to do more and improve from the inside out. Sadly we all are not energizing our Syria. We the Syrian expats are the worst of them all, we keep adding colours to our painting called Syria without even looking of what we are drawing.

Syria as a country is a patchwork of improvised politics, experimental economics, traditions from thousands of years, and infexible religions. When all these ingredient combine without a clear direction and a full tank of fuel, we can not move anywhere. Instead we spin like whirling dervishes wasting the energy we have on drawing those beautiful circles that make us drunk, dizzy and high with our love of our imaginary Syria. In our whirling we became numb, we are damaging everything around us without even noticing our faults.

A wakeup call is needed, our politics are not improving, our intellectuals are still behind bars for no reason, our factories are not efficient, our workers need an urgent professional upgrade, our economy is not in its best form, our religions are backwards and running fast the opposite direction and our poor Syrian “Abou Ahmad” is begging, his sons are killing in the name of religion, in the name of honour, in the name of revenge, because they don’t know any better. They need to be fed, to be educated and treated as respectable human beings before they appreciate that knowledge is a treasure, honour is hard work, tolerance is God’s religion and diversity is our Syrian strength. Meanwhile rich Abou Ahamd is not paying his taxes, he is using his money to go out of Syria and get another nationality because he could.
This is not the Syria we want or dream of. This is not what we are praying for and this is not happening in our names either.

I love my Syria as much as anyone of you loves Syria, I love its history, I love Bosra’s black stones, I love Palmyra and Zenobia pride, I love Ananias church, Ommayad mosque and Damascus synagogue, I love Yousef Alazme’s sacrifice and Sultan Pasha Alatrash’s revolution, I love Aleppo’s citadel, I love Lattakia’s seagull and Tartous’ blue Mediterranean water, I love Hama’s waterwheels noises and Homs’ Deek Aljin, I love the Syrian Cotton and wheat, I love our traditions, our family values I love the honest average Syrian, however, it’s enough whirling in circles, it’s time to stop, straighten up our thoughts and move forward where our water and environment are highly respected, where our desert should become green, where our Ghota should get back it’s apricot tree and it’s spring blossoms, where our factories should produce something we can sell worldwide to go forward, it’s time for our farms to be efficient and our earth to be treated as a goddess. It’s time for the rich Abou ahmad to pay his taxes back to Syria to improve schools and hospitals for his own kids and above all for the poor Abou ahamd to send his kids to learn science and literature where they could become an energy for Syria future, it’s time to build our realistic Syria away from a rosy unrealistic dreams.
Syria is for real, for today, for tomorrow.

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7 Responses to the Article

offended Says:

Great article Jad! I feel your pain buddy, you’ve managed to put our flaws under the microscope, not that they need magnifying, really. We know what the score is. I guess it’s a matter of biding our time and hoping for things to get better. While at the same time some of us would sedate their pain by relying on ancient tales or on phoney modernism. I’d rather bite the bullet and face the music. It’s indeed time to stop and see where the tracks are leading us to. But there’s hope buddy, as long as Syria has got candid and faithful sons like you and the other gentlemen on this board, there’s always hope.

P.s. how come that architects and urban designers always write best?! 😉

Bisher Imam Says:

Dear Jad
I am very happy that your comment is placed where it deserves to be, at the stemm not the branches. Well said, and rightfully so.

P.s. how come that architects and urban designers always write best?!

May be because you guys reflect as well as define our sence of beauty and function. May be because if one can imagine how stones, metals, wood, and asphalt can be molded so that the form and the function are one, it is only a short leap to do the same with words. Or may be because you are, simply Creative. :)

offended Says:

Or all of the above : )

jad Says:

Thank you for the kind words.

‘HOPE’ needs engineers+architects+planners+technology to be built. and that is why we are the best to describe and design ‘HOPE’ since we are already in its properties staring at it in the eyes and trying to explain it to our friends in the only way we know, through our passion, through our love and through our own internal ‘HOPE’, this is why we are damn honest and our words comes from our strong believes in ‘It’ Right?

Dear Dr. Imam.
I’m flattered by your note.
Thank you very much.


Bisher Imam Says:

Dearest Jad
Could you pleas drop the Dr. from my name, or, seriously, I will reciprocate : )

jad Says:

Dear Bisher,
I wont use Dr.

Naim Nazha MD Says:


I liked your article.

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