on 28 December 2001
This is a rare opportunity to see inside some of Damscus' most beautiful buildings, with complex histories stretching back many centuries. Having lived in this still vibrant and bustling city, I've seen a few of the best known of the buildings in this book. This book's real selling point, however, is its access to houses that the average student or tourist has little hope of seeing unless fortunate enough to meet the families that live in them. The accompanying text also strikes the right balance between historical depth and sheer readability with a blend of history, anecdote and explanation. It also ties in well to the beautiful photography, meaning there is not much in the way of flipping back and forth. Highly recommended.
on 18 December 2008
Having lived in Damascus, there are better guidebooks but few books that compare with Ms Keenan's and bring Damascus alive in the way that it deserves. This author gained exceptional access to the hidden corners of this historic city, whose real splendours are the old houses, not its museums or monuments. Full of gems.
on 2 March 2011
I bought this book after having read Brigid Keenan's excellent book about her life as a diplomat's wife, and from a sense of perhaps having lived in Damascus in a previous life! I was not disappointed-the book is beautifully illustrated with wonderful photographs and very easily-read text. There is a lot of background history, which makes you understand a lot more about what is happening today in the middle east and at the same time strikes a note of poignancy and sadness at the lost world within this area.