I love Syria, not because I’m Syrian, but because it’s a country anyone must love. Of course this might seem somewhat subjective or slanted; therefore I will try to give some mere facts about Syria for you to understand why I say “It MUST BE on your future travelling plans.”
Let’s start with what you are doing right now; you’re reading! Syria is known to be the home of the first known alphabetical system, at least that’s what I have learned from many different sources. It’s also the home of the oldest written musical note in history. Ugarit, near Lattakia, is where the musical note and the alphabet were discovered, with many poetic & literary inscriptions. Lattakia itself has great ruins to enjoy; Phoenician, Roman, & Byzantines. Tartus is a wonderful city on the Mediterranean; with the nicest people. In Tartus, as a whole province with its capital, Tartus, & the towns & villages, you will have a great time between the beauty of the mountains & the only Syrian island; Arwad. In Tartus, you would be able to see the diversity of the Syrian people in a very small province; Religions & sects meet in Tartus. Going back to history, Damascus is the second oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is the oldest continuously inhabited capital in the world; 16-15 BC inscriptions confirmed that Damascus was at that time the capital of a city state. There’s also Ebla, south of Aleppo, the city that had a flourishing civilization in the 3rd millennium BC. Palmyra in the Syrian Desert, Tadmur in Arabic or Tadmor in the Bible, was built according to the Bible in 1100 BC. It was a very prosperous city between the 1st century BC & the 3rd century AD because of its strategic location on the ancient trade routes between Egypt and the Persian Gulf. Bosra, in the Syrian Desert as well, is a World Heritage site. It has a great Roman amphitheatre which hosts an annual cultural festival at the end of the summer.
Those are only a few examples; writing about Syria’s importance in history will take ages & needs volumes of books. As a Syrian & as a gay man, I always have hope that Syria will have the government it deserves, a democratic government & be again a free country.
My final word in this quick introduction to Syria is: Syria has it all, the sea, the mountains, the desert, the rivers, the history, & of course ME.
All parks & new malls are cruising places in Syria.
Damascus is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It’s a beautiful city, with a lot to see. Personally, I keep wonder when did the first gay sexual experience take place in Damascus, & where.
Places to HUNT:
You could almost pick up guys everywhere; you just need to have a good gaydar. Anyway, here is a list of the most popular places in Damascus:
Monchieh Park; a small park behind the Four Seasons Hotel
Bab Toma (Thomas’ Gate)
In front of Cham Palace Hotel
Places to have FUN:
There are four hammams in Damascus where you could play safely, but please always be careful.
Hammam Al-Jadeed, near Bab al-Jabieh, close to Souk Al-Hamidieh
Hammam Al-Kiemarieh, in the Old City
Places to go:
Sheraton Hotel Pub
Massimo Pub, Cham Palace Hotel
Almost all the restaurants/coffee shops in Bab Toma are gay friendly
Madinat Al-Shabab (Youth City) swimming pool
Places to CRUISE
Public Park Aleppo
Dome Cafe (Coffee Shop near the Train Station)
Al-Mut'haf (The Museum) Park
Places to HAVE FUN
Al-Naeem Hammam (Turkish Bath)
Salheen Hammam (Turkish Bath)
Ghornata "Granada" Hammam
Places to meet/to go
Coffee shops in front of the castle
The beach would be a nice place to start. You could always check in Safwan Hotel, the most famous gay friendly hotel in the region.
Always remember; Parks are good to start your cruising experience in Syria, wherever you are; in any city. 30 minutes before sunset is always a good time to start cruising.
Have a gay trip.