Personal Impressions

The "Personal Impressions" section is a collection of thoughts and personal experiences.

Friendly and Patient?

Syrians are one of the most hospitable people on earth. People constantly chatted with us, shared their food, and offered assistance. Whenever we asked for directions, pedestrians would point us in the correct way and often accompany us to our destination. The level of genuine hospitality is unequaled in most countries. But sit a Syrian behind a steering wheel and their personality instantly changes. The driving style is rushed, brazen, and uncompromising. Every road is a drag race. Trucks cut off buses, buses cut off cars, and pedestrians run across streets to avoid getting hit. The gentle, patient Syrian pedestrian becomes a swearing, fist-pounding egomaniac behind the wheel.

Land of Farmers

Western media coverage of Syria is inevitably negative, usually focused on war and aggression. In fact, Syria is primarily a gentle farming community of rugged people who tend unforgiving rock-strewn soil. These hard-working decent people stick together like family. When their own land and that of their Palestinian, Jordanian, and Lebanese brothers is continually taken by Israeli military force, what are they to do? Who can blame Syria for defending its own territory?

Where is the Military?

With all the western media coverage of Middle East conflicts, we expected to see a heavy military presence in Syria. Aside from a few deserted-looking military bases and a hand-full of unarmed police and soldiers strolling through town, no military presence is evident. All of Syria seems safer than any city of your choice in the U.S.

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