1/04/2005

Nofara Sounds


Al-Nofara. This small cafe, just outside the walls of the Omayyad Mosque, is the most famous in Old Damascus. Al-Nofara is always bustling with customers, usually men, who create a lively mixture of sounds: Loud laughter, rolling of dice on wooden backgammon boards and occasional periods of silence interrupted by a long sip from a tea cup or the bubbling of an argileh (waterpipe), then ended with a shout: "Narah ya walad!" (bring me some coal, boy!)

11 comments:

Arabi said...

lol missed nargile walla. Nice pic.

faraz said...

Salaams, yaa Ayman! I am very impressed with the Damascene Blog and your attempt to portray Syria and Damascus in its true light and dispel the misconceptions and negative image that a lot of people hold about Syria due to a carefully orchestrated disinformation campaign by certain vested interests. By the way in your previous blog you say that Arabic should not be replaced by English-this is true but I am sure that someone as educated and enlightened as you also recognises English is a VERY IMPORTANT language in this day and age and therefore a person's command of English whether writing, reading, listening or speaking is ESSENTIAL. Also don't you think that some subjects in school/college/university should be taught in English especially science orientated subjects as English as well as being THE international language of the moment is also the THE language of science. The situation is somewhat similar to the period of al-Andalus when Arabic was THE international language and also the THE language of science and the Europeans had to learn Arabic to access the advances made by the Arabs in the different branches of science. By the way the photo of Al-Nofara cafe brings back warm memories of my trip to Damascus and Syria and the time that I spent with you, Amr, Sami et. al

Anonymous said...

The pic and the info are very good, but you forgot to mention the hakawaty(story teller) who sits there on a high chair, dressed up in traditional dress(tarbouch and all), holding a wooden stick and reading from his big story book the adventures of Antar.

Maurice_Basilius said...

"sigh"

Looks like a great city to visit, great cafe's, try a argileh, see the sights, more history than I could ever ask for.. Even the story teller sounds grand. You think a bald white guy from california would be welcome?

One can only hope..

luz de la luna said...

Wonderful picture and I like the text that goes with it even more! And a story teller? That's so wonderful. I wish I could visit that cafe! I think you must be doing wonders for the tourist industy! lol :-)

Best Wishes
La Luna.

Anonymous said...

damascus is the most beautiful city ever.. but its been
polluted by fat rich cats (newly rich VIP/business men) who stole the poeple's money to ride mercedes, make money from cell phones and duty free market and more....
until my city is cleaned from all these skull corrupt poeple ..... i can really enjoy damascus....
u cannot do anything (any business) unless u know somebody who would later robe u just like the poor guy from kawaleese and the egyptian cell phones guy...
they even tried to steal the mercedes benz dealership from the current family running it...
poeple ... cannot u see that? ur silence about these issues mean u agree and cooperate with those thieves...
i can say more, but i dont want fuckin mukabarat to show up at thier place...
please.... speak out against corruption

t'su said...

I've heard about the corruption in Syrian business circles, but that doesn't change my opinion: Syria (Damascus in particular) is an country (and city) rich in culture and beauty.

Anonymous said...

Nice post as usual, Ayman.
I have shot an external photo for An-Noufarah. It is shown at..
http://syria.hisyria.com/000_0211_1.html

Abdulhadi

Knight Kh said...

Salams Ayman!

This cafe is fantabulous!! REminds me of a greenhouse. How unique to be having tea, coffee and all the in-betweens in a greenhouse! I love the decor, I really, really do. It's more classier, homely and atmospheric than those contemporary modern day lounges. And i would so love to eavesdrop on the conversations of these men! They speak wonders, I bet ;P Story-teller?? Where??? I cannot see one in the picture. What kinda stories would he tell?? Arab folk tales?

Nesace

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly the story teller does not appear in the pic but he does sit there occasionally and tells stories of legendary Arab knights. But here's a tip, if you look closely to the right of the door you will see that the chair there is higher than the rest. That's the hakawaty's chair:D

Anonymous said...

thanks for the beautiful work you've done...i've been surfing around for about six hours,i've voted for you, i've also sent the link to my family abroad for i know how much they miss these small details of Damascus & which your work reminds of... .
i wanna say that everyone from all over the world is invited to visit Damascus & enjoy its culture.
i hope my city will be "clean" sometime soon so i won't have to leave it & live abroad just like the rest of my family..like the rest of you Syrians running away from corruption kings who are leaving us nothing.. .
hope to see you here soon.