"The World Oldest City Called Halab !" Aleppo by coceng
Aleppo Travel Guide: 757 reviews and 1,848 photos
The First Day...
I arrived in the wee hour of 4 am in Aleppo from Tripoli in Lebanon. Arrived at the hotel at about 5 am, greeted by a drunken guy ! Read the story on this link below :
After checking in, I slept for a few hours as I couldn't sleep on the bus previous night !
At about 10 am, started to go out & explore...
Called up Mohammed ( A university student who worked part-time at his dad's shop...), who came to greet me & took me around The Souqs & got me a short-cut to The Citadel in Aleppo. He left me there as he had to rush back to work & we planned to meet up again on that evening.
Explored The Citadel on my own, it's a vast place ! Amazing sceneries from the top over Aleppo.
Coming out & down from The Citadel, I got lost ! It's good to get lost but I always ended up in The Souqs where the sellers tried to sell me things. The things were cheap but bluntly I said to them, "Sorry, No Money !" God knows that was the honest truth from my side.
When I finally found my way, I went to a garage ( small station for service taxis...) & asked for a service taxi to Qala'at Samaan.
That was around 2.30 pm...
To reach Qala'at Samaan, first I had to reach a village called Darret Azze from where I could get a service taxi or hire a taxi to Qala'at Samaan.
Sure, there's a tour from Aleppo going to Qala'at Samaan but I intend to reach there on my own, by public transport, would be cheaper I thought.
Coming back from Qala'at Samaan was around 6 pm. I was dropped near the vegetable market & that was a lively scenario ! All kinds of vegetables & fruits were on display. took some nice photos of the scenes & walked around The Square where President Assad standing erect in the middle of it. Took some sunset photos around Aleppo. Feeling nice, people were smiling but couldn't really making a conversation with them.
Bought myself schwarmas & back to the hotel.
At about 10 pm, I went out again, waited for Mohammed in front of The Aleppo Museum.
He came on time & asked me what I wanted to do, I said up to him.
He took me to meet his 2 freinds ( also university students like Mohammed...) who live nearby & it was pleasant at first.
They invited me to eat : Some spices, some breads, some mayonaise, stuffs like that ! I said I would be happy with my schwarmas !
They joked that if I didn't eat what they prepared for me they would force me to consume it !
It was a joke allright ! It was err, 'heavy' !
We talked; We laughed; We joked about English language as they wanted to learn English as that would bring them far, they said...
They started asking about me, about my country !
What would I want to hide ?
I told them about Malaysia : Tthe 3 races with 3 religions, 3 cultures & we live together as Malaysians.
More questions : They started to ask about how an Islamic country like Malaysia could tolerate with other religions ? I gave my comments !
I said it's about the upbringings, the teachings & the backgrounds of 3 races to respect & understand people through their cultures & religions.
The bottom line is :
They just couldn't see it !
They couldn't understand how a mosque can be built side by side with a Hindu or Chinese temples !
They couldn't understand how restaurants selling pork can be built in the same complex which are also frequented by Muslims !
They look at alcohol as the evil thing ! They should see the Muslim guy who greeted me at 5 in the morning who was drunk, who couldn't even find my hotel booking !
They asked me whether I'm Sunni or Shiite, I said all Muslims in Malaysia are Sunnis because we follow the teachings of Shafie..,Blah Blah Blah !
Still, they questioned me this & that !
I felt that the conversation was going nowhere !
When they started to raise their voices, I started to raise mine !
I stood up & said, "I'm coming to your country because I'm the previleged here !
You wanted me to explain about my country, I did that ! If you don't agree with my own country that's fine by me ! If you don't agree with my country that's fine by me too !
For me, you have insulted a guest coming to your country !
You insulted me because I come from Malaysia !
Next time, don't ask a guest about what we just argued about !
You don't live in their countries, you didn't have their upbringings, you don't have their cultures !
Most importantly, you don't have their tolerance !"
They replied, "Come on it's just a discussion !"
I said look for somebody else ! I went to the door & couldn't open it. They tried to calm me to sit down & I yelled, "Open this ***ing door !"
They did & off I went out !
Went back to my hotel & the drunk guy (he's not drunk at that time...) asked me what happened because my face was so red ! I said, "Nothing..."
Went back to my room & forced myself to sleep with a clench teeth !
The Second Day... ( Click here )
ALEPPO is Syria's second city.
It is the municipal city for the northern Syria.
It has been mentioned since Roman times & it's also (together with Damascus) the oldest inhabited city in the world !
Now, it is called as Halab by the local people in the region.
Population is around 3 millions mostly Muslims.
Aleppo was ruled by most major conquerors like The Seleucids, The Romans, The Persians, The Muslims, The Mongols, The Crusaders, The Ottomans & The Byzantines.
Earthquakes have destroyed this city a few times along the reigns of the above so many buildings, including The Citadel, The Fortress & The City itself have been rebuilt many times over.
Now, there are 2 parts of Central Aleppo :
The Old City
The New City
The Old City has all the sightseeings like the huge Citadel; The heart of The Old City is The Souqs ! You can get lost inside The Souqs ! It's like a vast maze !
The New City has the commercial areas, places to stay & some public parks...
- Pros:The Citadel In Aleppo Is Impressive !
- Cons:Don't Talk Politic & Religion With Anybody In Aleppo ! ( Well, my experience ! )
- In a nutshell:Aleppo Is A Base To Explore Sites In The North Of Syria !
Written Jun 16, 2005
From Tripoli To Aleppo...
Written Jun 14, 2005
The Second Day in Aleppo...
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