The stormy winter weather that affected a number of areas in the Middle East last week also struck Damascus. For people here the inclement weather is especially hard to bear given the drastic shortage of heating fuel and cooking gas, and the worsening situation with regard to electricity.
While many Syrians have suffered immensely during the current conflict, others continue to live much as before. One week, a young single mother and her two-year-old son came to stay in my house for a few days, her home destroyed and ransacked. Later that week, I went out and met a western friend for a drink in the old city. All of the girls were expensively and revealingly dressed and danced with their male companions seemingly unencumbered by their towering heels, while everyone was knocking back a range of exotic cocktails and shots.