"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Damascus -- Visiting Amer

Amer was one of my online friends prior to our trip to Damascus. He, Basheer, Sami and Ahmad (Jake) were college students with Samer so they knew of me and I knew of them for several months. (Samer "introduced" us.) I'd talked to all of them either by e-mail or MSN Messenger and considered them friends whom I hoped to meet face-to-face during our visit.

Normally Amer would have been with us on some of our adventures, but a week or two before we came to Syria, he was in an automobile accident and was housebound with torn ligaments in his ankle. (No elevator in his building and he lived on the 3rd floor.)

Thus, we visited him.

Here we are in Amer's house.
Susanne, Amer, Andrew & Basheer

Susanne, Amer, Andrew & Samer

We were privileged to meet Amer's father and sister, Rana. Amer's dad knew English very well and you can see from his face what a joyful person he was to talk with. Rana had the sweetest laugh, and I was very happy to meet her! We didn't get to meet Amer's mom. Apparently she doesn't meet with men usually, but I'm glad Rana made an exception so I wasn't the only female in the room. Plus she was so very delightful!

Amer's parents had gone on the Muslim pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca a few months prior to our trip. (Btw, Basheer did also.) They brought back zamzam water and gave some to us. I remember Basheer telling us it was special.

Oh, I just read this about zamzam water:

Muslims refer to the water of Zamzam as something revered and unique. They crave this mysterious liquid and love to drink it whenever they can. And for those who managed to go to the Hajj, they return home carrying it for thousands of miles as a prized possession and to give as special gift to their friends and families.

The Three Engineers
These guys also took German together at the Goethe Institute in Damascus.

(Notice Amer is holding his crutch. I told him next time we visit, if he had to have another accident to please only hurt his arm so he could still walk around Damascus with us. This was the only time we had with Amer, but it was great that we got to meet him and some of his family.)

I greatly enjoyed meeting Rana

and Andrew loved meeting Faisal who had gone to school that day telling his friends that Americans were coming to his house! So sweet! :-)

We had to leave around the time the children were getting home from school, but I am surely glad I got to meet them. Even now I remember that day with a smile.

Pictures from Damascus, Syria
February 3, 2009


Sarira said...

Susanne, I love your little posts on Syria! So you guys were online friends! How did it feel to meet? I've met 6 or 7 online friends, myself. Pretty 'surreal' :)

This will probably come as a shock to you, but I am like Amer's mom. I don't usually meet men, either. I'm one of the conservative Muslims, lol (my parents in this area are much more relaxed...:P) But I would not have left my fellow girlie all alone with men, either, hehe! High fives ya :)

Oooo, Zam zam water is very special :D It tastes 'different', doesn't it. For us, we believe that has great healing powers- more than that though, we believe that it was the water that God gave Hajar, Ibrahim's wife, when she was left alone in the desert with her baby son Ismail. We believe if you make 'dua' drinking it, it will be answered :D

LOL at telling Amer to only break his arm ;)
Faisal is a cutie! Telling his schoool mates that!

I'm sure the kids will always remember you as well :D

Thanks for sharing.

Off to comment on your new post...
(God's willing:)

Susanne said...

Thanks much for taking time to read and comment. It's been fun rereading some of these posts as I locate them for you. :) Your replying to them in depth has made it even better! Thank you incredibly much! You are such a sweetheart! <3

Susanne said...

Oh, yes, we were online friends. When we met at the Damascus airport it was so cool. I thought, "My picture [of him] has come to life." Ha, ha! Thankfully we got along super-well and have remained dear friends. I hope to go back sometime. :)