Italian Coincidence in Damascus Streets, Dr Francesco Gabriello

While walking toward Alhamra Theater to attend a play, I accidentally met Francesco, an Italian doctor working with an international organization in Syria, who first visited our country in 2015 and, since the date on, he visits Syria on regular bases.

“There is more life in the city, and people are much more relaxed, some streets are very vibrant, with a lot of shops” Dr. Gabrielli enthusiastically said, expressing his good impression about Damascus city in 2019 compared to 2015. In regards to the Syrian culture and people, despite his humble knowledge of our culture and traditions, Dr. Francesco mentioned that he is trying to read as much as possible about Syria, and improving his “very modest Arabic”; he also recently visited the National Museum: “I had been there a few years ago when only the garden was open - it was a pleasant surprise to see that you can now visit many rooms”.


He also affirmed the generosity and hospitality of the Syrians, “They are very kind and tactful people. I have always been full of admiration as they went through difficult times with great dignity.” Dr. Gabrielli revealed his love for the old city “You surely know that Damascus is the oldest inhabited city!” He wittily exclaimed. “I have visited the Umayyad Mosque, Azm Palace, the Straight Street; all are fabulous sites revealing a deeply rooted civilization”.

“The uniqueness of Syria comes from being, since the beginning of history, a land at a crossroad between Occidental and Oriental culture, traditions and values”, Dr. Francesco declared. “This makes every aspect of its life very special”.

However, we Syrians are totally aware of that fact, but always have seen that as an additional plus that helps deepen our creative identity. Despite all that Damascus, the jasmine city, is as well an assembling place for all visitors.


Interviewed and edited by: Lama Alhassanieh