Then below us, the city materialises out of the darkening evening, the buildings lit by the yellow glow of the setting sun. The warmth in the air seems to envelop me.

The minarets come into focus and as each one lights up, green and welcoming, I realise that, for the first time since being here, I too feel I am coming home.

Back at al Ward, Tariq will be there – ahelleyn, my light, my eyes, he will say. Marwan will come through with a cup of tea and ask what I have been doing all day.

And I will know, though nothing is certain in this life, that for the time being at least, even though I don’t belong here, Damascus is the place where I want to be.



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