02 April, 2006

I'm just a Dust Bowl refugee


Here is a photo of yesterday's dust storm taken in front of the hovel in Kafer Soussa.

We had absolutely crazy weather yesterday. You could see dust swirling about high in the sky from early on, but the sky grew darker and more menacing with each hour. Not so much black as a deep earthen brown. Then you began to hear thunder overhead and all around. Then the rain started. Or, more accurately, the mud started. The heavy rain carried much of the dust that had been airborne and deposited it on everything below. The streets in Mezza looked like the arroyos around Tucson after a good monsoon. I went for a swim courtesy of a taxi, thoroughly soaked from the waist down. I told the old woman who lives next door to the hovel that it was like we were on Mars, which made her chuckle.

Despite the rare MUDsoon, I found a house!!!! Thank goodness, because when I returned to the hovel to pack I noticed the doors and the few windows atop the wall leak freely. My house is in an area of Mezza Jbel (Mezza Mountain) known as the 86th Quarter Khezzan. The 86th is named for the Alouite company of soldiers who illegally occupied the area years ago. It's hardly a squatters camp these days. I was a bit shocked when told it is "illegal". Of course that term is a little grayer here. The house is atop a four-story building with a nice view of Jbel Qassiyoun and the city. I have a huge patio at the front door and a large covered patio off my bedroom. That's what sold me on the place. Cheb, Ringo, and Mike came over last night to christen it as my first guests and were dully impressed. After a few songs on the guitars and a Barada or two, we began referring to it as "our house". And so it is, as always, with the places I live. My open-door policy with friends continues. We have already begun plotting where to put the bar-b-que for the first party.

Salaam!

3 comments:

Yafiah Katherine said...

Salam Aisha Qandisha! I was looking for an email contact but you don't have one so I'm writing here. Just interested to know about the school where you are learning Arabic. I know a bit but would love to learn more and since I'm just across the Med. from you I thought I'd ask. You can reply through the contact address on my blog if you like.
No dust storms here but I think we got the tail end of the wind and its overcast today.

Anonymous said...

The house sound awsome. It is really a large apartment on top of a building? I love the patios. Your friends look nice. The dust storm looked freaky but pretty. I love your documentary style!
Mom

HillaryGulden said...

Hi! thankyouthankyou thank you thankyoufor the picture!!!! When you got "soaked" were your clothes all muddy??? PLEASE POST MORE!! Can you send a pic of the hovel? Do you have a pic of the landlady? What about your new apartment? Dana, it is so exciting and your pictures are truly magnificent. Living vicariously through you as always, enjoying my last night in post-katrina new orleans, love,
Hillary