‘I come here for a change of atmosphere,’ says Mohammad, a 25-year-old car salesman, who has clearly had a drink or three. ‘There is joy here,’ he says of the nightclub in the upscale Shaalan neighbourhood, where the barman juggles bottles of spirits. ‘I want to live, I don’t want to hear any more bad news.’
When the entire world is fearfully watching your every move while atrocities occur right outside your front door, one would think that life in a country such as Syria would be misery incarnate. An ongoing civil war that has already lasted 30 months has claimed thousands of lives and many Syrians now fear an intervention from other countries. Yet as terror is unleashed upon the Syrian streets and districts, a few still venture outside to reminisce about simpler times and stubbornly party in several clubs throughout Damascus.
One performer who brings people out to have a good time is 22-year-old Mudi al-Arabi, a rapper who returned to Syria just two months ago. His music is filled with nostalgic notions of a Syria that is no more, where parties and festivals were in abundance and when the streets were safer. His attitude and affinity with his people makes it clear why he made such a difficult and dangerous decision to return home. He explained why many will risk going outside:
‘Everyone’s going to die some day, but the Syrian people love life and the most important thing is to be happy,’ he said. ‘If the United States attacks us, I’m sure our army will defend us,’ he added. ‘Guys come here with their friends or with their girlfriends, to forget the week’s routine.’
It’s a big risk making people forget their routines, as the authorities are growing wary of the parties and make it difficult to receive permission.
Damascus’s clubbing scene isn’t the only aspect of Syrian life that soldiers on in the face of adversity. Most shops and cafes of the Syrian capital remain open, even as the country’s beleaguered regime struggles to carry on. This remarkable stiff upper lip that the Syrians display makes looking at the photos of them enjoying themselves on a night out a strange and difficult experience. It’s hard to contrast them with the images we see daily in our media.
Not that this makes light of the situation in Syria or contradicts what horrors are occurring daily. Not that anyone is forgetting that an international intervention may or may not make things worse for the civilians. But it is interesting to see how even in the worst of times people will still stay calm… And carry on.
Source: Daily Mail