SYRIA: Pre-Departure Thoughts

I am currently sitting in the departure lounge at OR Tambo airport. My flight for Dubai departs in 2 hours time. Even thou this is the longest flight of the journey-8 hours- I am not too concerned , as Alhamdulillah, I have flown this route a couple of times in recent years. From Dubai onwards, that is where it may get a bit tiresome : a 5 hour transit in Dubai, a 4 hour flight to Istanbul, a 9 hour wait in Istanbul and then a 2 hour flight to Hatay, which is close to the Syrian border. I can imagine how exhausted I will be when I reach there.

At this moment I am having a flurry of emotions. Foremost, its never easy leaving home.

The second emotion is that of suspense and apprehension. Syria is a country immersed in civil strife. There have been mass killings for more than two years. we are now waiting to see whether or not Congress votes in favour of a US strike. It has never been easy to understand what exactly is going on in Syria. There are many countries that have vested interests in Syria & have been trying to influence events.

On the 3 level, at this moment I am also experiencing a degree of excitement about visiting Turkey and Syria. I had the opportunity of visiting Istanbul last year-without doubt it is one of the most beautiful cities of the world- but, I have always desired to visit Syria as it is one of the most intriguing countries of the world. It is home to the abdaals and has the oldest inhabited city in the world , Damascus. Someone once told me that ‘travelling is addictive’ and I fully agree. The more one travels the greater the desire to visit other places.

With all these emotions still running havoc in my mind, its almost time to leave.

Yusuf Moosagie

7th September 2013