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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Syria: the people you meet, part 2

We'd been searching for Qasr al Heir Al Sharqi, the isolated ruins of a magnificent Umayyad palace, some 120 kilometers in the desert north-east of Palmyra, Syria, and we'd found them. After a failed attempt the day before, we were elated. At the end of our ambles we saw two young boys striding across the desert toward us. One, who was the caretaker of the castle, was named Mohammed. The other was his cousin. Also named Mohammed. The first Mohammed had come to collect our money, give us our tickets, and write our names in a book. He spoke perfect English: yes, we were the only people to visit that day, and, yes, he'd met our Dutch friends there the day before, and he was most impressed with their motorbikes. He asked us for a ride, just to the intersection near their house and on the way we discussed his career aspirations. We were still smiling to ourselves when we slowed to let a herd of sheep cross the road. The friendly Bedouin shepherd, sitting casually on the back of his white donkey, smiled and waved to us. His name could have been Mohammed. It didn't matter. That smile, that wave... that was all we needed. As I asked before, have you had those feelings on your travels?

2 comments:

Naim Turki said...

hi Lara
its so intersting travel website with all the intersting travel storys around big part of the world, when you read this storys and whn you see this photo you just feel like to go and strat along holiday : ) by the way i love the photo of the Bedouin shepherd.

laradunston said...

Hi Naim
Somehow I missed this message of yours! I'm so sorry! Thank you so much for the feedback - I'm really pleased you feel that way. That's exactly how I want people to feel - I just want them to be inspired. Inspired enough to travel. I'm glad you like the photo too!