Passion for what?

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on January 23rd, 2009 in General

It looks like the WAHO conference in Syria has given a number of Syrian entrepreneurs a bright idea: the desert Arabian horse as a commercial good. They are hosting “Arabian Passion: the Damascus International Horse and Equestrian Fair” (I made it a policy not to link to commercial stuff, so Google it yourselves if you want), for the second time, on October 16-19th, 2009 in Damascus. Not sure which passion they mean.. 

The exhibitors’ target is “making this exhibition an ideal place for those who would like to offer their products and services”.  Fascinating. Gone indeed are the days when idealistic Syrians would offer visitors their lasting friendship and the hospitality of their homes and barns. Now they want to offer you their products and services, including those coveted “bedding and flooring products”.

I knew that era would reach Syria one day, but I didn’t know that it would happen so soon… which reminds me of this quote from French writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944): 

“Nous nous sommes nourris de la magie des sables. D’autres peut-etre y creuseront leurs puits de petrole et s’enrichiront de leurs marchandises. Mais ils seront venus trop tard. Car les palmeraies interdites ou la poudre vierge des coquillages nous ont livré leur part la plus précieuse: elles n’offraient qu’une heure de ferveur et c’est nous qui l’avons vécue”. 

[Here’s my own translation into English, for what it’s worth:”We fed from the magic of the sands. Perhaps others will dig oil wells and become wealthy from the sale of their goods. But they will have come too late. Because the forbidden palm oases and the virgin powder of the seashells will have given us their most precious part: they only offered an hour of passion and it is we who have lived it”.]

2 Responses to “Passion for what?”

  1. How truly beautiful, Edouard and how very sad. It brings tears to my eyes.

  2. Very good quote Edouard and so real, unfortunately…

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