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Syria was here in Mari and Ugarit , where AsSyrian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman empires and cultures met and Interactioned
 In Syria, Man discovered the mysteries of Agriculture, Metallurgy, and contrived the foremost alphabet


 Nov 23, 2009

Damascene Mosaic, a Deep-Rooted Art



The Damascene wood mosaic is one of the oldest, most distinguished traditional handicrafts in Damascus, giving its houses a unique beauty and earning considerable popularity among Syrians and tourists alike.

This handicraft uses various types of colored wood to make the veneer, such as rosewood, Eucalyptus, walnut, almond and lemon wood, in addition to seashells which are imported from Asia. The main body and structure of the mosaic pieces is made from beech or walnut wood.


The veneers are made by cutting square or triangular pieces of wood into thin layers that are cut into smaller pieces in various shapes and then glued on the piece's body. Hand-crafted mosaics may take more than two months to make.

This craft reached its current state at the hands of Damascene craftsman Jerji al-Bitar, who introduced a personal touch into the craft during the second half of the 20th century, using interlocking color elements and a unique style. Other craftsmen continued to develop this art, using bone and ivory to further enrich it.

The popularity and increasing demand for mosaic by Arab and foreign tourists caused the craft to flourish, producing captivating masterpieces of impeccable precision and beautiful design.

Mosaics aren't limited to small trinkets and gift items; there are mosaic chairs, cabinets, bookshelves, and entire furniture sets. Depending on the type, precision and craftsmanship of the piece, the price of a mosaic ranges from SP 50,000 to one million.

Beit Nizam, Maktab Anbar and the palaces of Khaled al-Azem, al-Sibaii and al-Kuwatli are among the most famous Damascene houses decorated with wood mosaic.


H. Sabbagh / Kh. Aridi


Minister of Tourism Discusses Tourist Promotion with British Delegation

Nov 21, 2009


Damascus, (SANA) Minister of Tourism Saadalla Agha al-Qalaa discussed on Saturday with a delegation representing British tourism companies the methods of tourist promotion being used by the Ministry in Britain and Europe and its role in introducing people to the Syrian tourist product.

Agha al-Qalaa stressed the importance of listing Syria among tourist destinations by British tourism companies, saying that the delegation's visit to Syria will allow them to learn about the archeological and historic sites in the country.

The Minister also underlined the state of tourism in Syria and the steps taken to attract tourist investments and develop new products, noting that foreign tourists have been given facilitations for entering Syria through border checkpoints.

Representatives of the British tourism companies expressed readiness to include Syria on their lists of tourist attractions and encourage their clients to visit it.

The Ministry of Tourism had launched a promotional campaign in Britain coinciding with the World Travel Market, which was held from 9 to 12 November. The campaign will continue until the end of 2009 in London and several European countries.

H. Sabbagh / Kh. Aridi


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