14 – 17 May 2008

Damascus 2008 Palmyra Theatre

Based on the rich history and culture of Syria, Louvre curator and archaeologist Andrea Parrout was moved to write “each civilized person in the world should admit that he has two home countries: the one he was born in, and Syria.”  While three days wasn’t enough time to spark mass migration, it did give participants the chance to understand his passion for the country.

As the 2008 Arab Cultural Capital, Damascus hosted prestigious cultural performers and speakers from around the world, including Friend of the DAI Sulayman al-Bassam.  Sulayman had been invited to present his production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” for five nights, from 12 May to 16th May at the Damascus Opera House.  Other Friends of the DAI were invited to participate in a three day trip (14 – 17 May) to Damascus to see the play and explore the inspiration for Parrout’s quote.

Over the course of the trip, adventurers enjoyed a guided tour of the National Museum, the beautiful Old City, the Grand Umayyad Mosque and Tekkiah Sulaimaniyah.  Finally, a small group added a day trip to Palmyra, while others spent the day contributing to the economy of Damascus in the Hamidiyeh Souk and enjoying Bakdash ice cream.