my microcast

When we think of social media, the first thing that comes to our minds are the various electronic platforms that operate it. We associate it with services that range from MySpace to Twitter, and from Yahoo! to LinkedIn. Our understanding of social media is quite shallow. Yet, in fairness, the term ‘social media’ itself is rather vague. Which media isn’t social anyway? Some people like to call it ‘new media’, which is more accurate – today – but not tomorrow.

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I left Syria, but I brought Damascus with me

I’m back in Bamberg, where winter is warm, the streets are clean, and the air is fresh. There is a great degree of noise pollution here, though, because Bamberg is an industrialized city that has not yet learned how to properly informatize itself. Most people here have not reached a point where they struggle to record text without being interrupted. In fact, they are not that interested in encoding their own content, despite the insane tax-money that goes to their free education. Once they start using their keyboards, they’d realize how severe noise pollution is in their city.

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The Last Damascene with a Keyboard

Two days after my arrival in Damascus, I woke up depressed, unable to imagine that I had to spend three more weeks in this zombie city. I did my bed, and sat on it for a moment, unmotivated to do anything. And then I saw my reflection in my mother’s big dusty mirror. The miserable way I looked inspired me to snap a picture. That experience somehow energized me to get up and have a busy week.

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A Baathist Legacy

It hasn’t been easy to be at home with my mother again after all this long. This is the fourth time I see her since I moved to Europe in early 2015. My mother is the same every time we meet, yet she’s changed a lot. Some things never change about people, but they age. The war in Syria has made most of us age faster. Mom is now 70, although she looks more like 80. It broke my heart to see how old she’s grown since I last saw her two years ago.

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The Roman Shiite Ottoman

It’s hard for me to meet my father without us getting into a useless and irritating argument these days. It’s been two years since we last met. I’ve seen him three times since I arrived in Damascus. Now I realize how easy it is to be at peace with him when I’m away. I can love him then, even more than my mother. But once I’m here, I must remind myself not to be mad at him. When I talk to dad, it feels like I’m talking to Sultan Abdelhamid, or even Hitler. And what do you know; the old man is apparently a fan of both.

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The Supply Man

As a child, I loved my father. We had a good relationship until he retired as a trade inspector in 2000. Up till that point, my father had had a remote positive influence on me. I knew him to be the mighty inspector who had survived 17 assassination attempts throughout a crusade against corruption. He was always very passionate about his job, having grown up with detective novels. Those he read at a little bookstore that my grandfather, Abdo senior, ran.

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