Terrorism and urban planning

From the novel I am currently reading: Back in his hotel room he remembered that Mohammed Atta , the famous World Trade Center hijacker, had been a student of urban planning in hamburg in Germany. Was there a connection between the two things – terror and planning? It was possible. Atta in his religious way, had wanted the perfect religious city &emdash; his thesis was on Aleppo in Syria. In the end though his urge to design took a different form &emdash; het took down the twin monstrosi…

The motorized mountain bike(s) of Damascus

Back in december when walking through Damascus I ran into this mountain bike rigged up with small combustion engine: Mountain bike fitted with a combustion engine on Khalid ibn al-Walid street in central Damascus (photo taken from a different perspective here) If you ask me this is quite a marvel of engineering and although I never spotted a second one during the 3 days that I spend in Damascus I am pretty certain that this is not a unique modification but rather one of many that are produc…

Enjoy the most complete edition of windows (Syrian style)

When i first flew to Beirut in 2005, i was seated next to a Microsoft representative who then mentioned that Microsoft could not do business in syria, ‘because it is on the shit-list‘ (guess her refers to John Bolton’s extended axis of evil). Of course that does not mean that no one is using Microsoft products in Syria (in fact there are shit-loads of computer shops and internet cafes in Damascus if one considers that computers and internet have only been legalized in 2000). In fact you can buy…

R.I.P Samir Kassir

Today i am back in Beirut. In the morning we met with the Hezbollah (i was still getting SMS straight from the ‘zionist entity’ while sitting in their press room), but talking to them did not make them any more sympathetic. The guy got himself in rage about Israel and how they had every right to defend themselves against Israeli aggressions, but instead of stopping there he then started to explain us how we (the Germans) were also victims of them as ‘they (Israelis) made us (Germans) responsible…

TXL --> BEY

At tegel half of the people in front of the check in counter seem to belong to one family whose patriarch is constantly busy telling te members of the extended group where they should be (basically the men at the counter and the women waiting on the other side of the hall). On both flights (half of the passengers of the full A300-600 leaving berlin seem to make up for three quarters of the full A320 leaving frankfurt) the normative system of the family patriarch proves to be stronger than that o…