As you may have understood, I am French girl, born in the West Indies, in one of the most beautiful island on earth, Martinique. On top of this, with Syrian roots!
To know more about the Syrian in Martinique I recommend you to read “Rue des Syriens” by Raphael Confiant, a fantastique writer. I don’t know if it’s translated yet?
Syrian diaspora is definitely one of the biggest in the world with at least 15 millions of people living abroad.
They usually integrate fast to their host country. But, it’s not because they are super integrated that they would forget their past and roots. On the contrary, – even if Syrian people are usually very discret – many of them try to promote their culture, and show to their fellows how rich and beautiful it is, and more than that, how they could contribute to build and enhance cooperation and solidarity between people.
Through my travels, and connections, I discovered and found so many interesting people that make me realize that even if i thought I knew Syrian culture and food and history etc. I didn’t know how intense and rich and diverse it was.
I used to spend most of my summers on the Syrian coast, in a beautiful small village called Saouda next of the port city of Tartous, and of course visited several cities such as Palmyra, Damascus, Latakia, Bosra… Fun fact, I used to see many tourists coming from several Arabic countries – mostly from the Gulf – but also lot of Europeans coming from France (French people are everywhere hehe), Germany, Spain and Italy. The last time I went there, I noticed a increasing number of people coming from China (mostly investors) and people coming from the Maghreb. I am evoking these facts, because, I remember that tourism in Syria, was not a mass tourism, on the contrary, a more responsible tourism. People that used to go to Syria, were not looking for lazing on the beaches, but more for a voyage of discovery!
Indeed, most of them were interested in the great offer in terms of culture, history, arts, cuisine and traditions – resulting from the intermingling of civilizations and religions we have there.
My last visit was in 2010, a year before the recent events.
If I started to write this article today, it was with the idea to give, to those that have no clue (but only the bad pictures slide across your screen) about it.
I would be very happy if all the people that have a direct or indirect link with it, would accept to share with me some stories about it. Like traditions, or food, or best places there, or a piece of history etc…
If you want to be part of this, please contact me : firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Here is all the things I have started to inventory, and I want to develop through several articles:
Pottery & Ceramics
Ajami wooden decoration
Mother of pearl marquetry
Chandeliers and lanterns
Goat hair tents
Gold and silver manufacturing
Kebbel bel ferren