Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The New York Times Might Be Trying To Kill You

In the Sunday Times' travel section, Seth Sherwood writes of The Road Back to Damascus:

Even though Syria is "accused" of financing terrorists...

Though most Americans might be wary of sojourning in a country whose authoritarian government stands accused of some serious charges — financing Hezbollah, allowing foreign fighters into neighboring Iraq and assassinating the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri — a week among the regular citizens of Syria and its cultural riches is eye-opening.

There's a Four Seasons, how bad can it be?

The country I discovered, in addition to being friendly and largely free of crime and related hassles, even showed glimmers of creaking open to the West after decades of closure. Under its London-educated, 41-year-old president, Bashar al-Assad, Syria has instituted private banking, removed a number of long-standing import barriers and passed measures allowing foreigners to own property. A Four Seasons hotel opened in Damascus with great fanfare in 2005; a five-star Inter-Continental is under construction.

Finally, quoting a Syrian, Sherwood tells you all you need to know to decide on booking a travel ticket (despite the Baath party operatives, al Qaeda figures, repression, and proximity to Iran and Syria):
“Damascus is becoming a cool place”

Done deal, I better check Orbitz...

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