Semi off-topic: Damascus

27 11 2009

My other big love is travel writing. I only discovered the genre about two years ago and now I love it so much, I rarely read anything else. My favourite is the wonderful Bill Bryson with Notes On A Small Island, but I’m equally crazy for more exotic travel books. Another favourite is Annie Hawes and her books on Italy. A Handful Of Honey, written about her journey through Morrocco and Algeria – two countries that fascinate me – is totally mesmerising and everything you could look for in a travel book. Another place that fascinates me greatly is the city of Damascus. I would love to visit one day but armchair travel will have to do for now. With that in mind, a few months ago I found an amazing little book on Amazon: Damascus: Taste of a City, by Marie Fadel and Rafik Schami. Description couldn’t do it justice! Without doubt, it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen – inside and out. Rafik Schami – a well known storyteller of Damascene origin writing in German – puts together a narative from phone conversations with his sister in Damascus, in which she travels through the old city, chatting about neighbours and neighbourhoods and bringing in wonderful recipes linked to the person or place. Recommended!

It’s available on Amazon and quite reasonably, although sadly there is now a long wait while it ships.You might get it just in time for Christmas if you hurry!