To break the spell, seven friends gather for seven nights to present Salim with seven wondrous "gifts"—seven stories of their own design.Upon this enchanting frame of tales told in the fragrant Arabian night, the words of the past grow fainter, as ancient customs are yielding to modern turmoil. all of Damascus appears before your eyes, along with a vision of storytelling—and talk—as the essence of friendship, of community, of life." A sly and graceful work, a delight to readers young and old, Damascus Nights is, according to Publishers Weekly, "a highly atmospheric, pungent narrative." Rafik Schami was born in Damascus in 1946, came to Germany in 1971 and studied chemistry in Heidelberg., being in the heart of the old city, is loyal to traditions.
Exploring these markets today is one of the most memorable experience for visitors.Souq Al-Hamidiyah is located in the heart of the old city — Old Damascus — right next to the Umayyad Mosque.This market is famous for having its roof over the shops, where visitors can buy everything from clothes (modern and traditional), to food, accessories and, most importantly, spices and herbs.It's said that the Umayyad Mosque, before Muslim conquest, had been a Roman sanctuary of Jupiter before being transformed into church when Christianity dominated the region.In 1516, the Ottomans conquered Damascus and ruled over the area for 400 years, during which wars and massacres provoked many to flee Syria.
The word Dimashq – which is Arabic for Damascus – means irrigated land.