In Damascus Nightlife Is Thriving, A Testament to Resilience and the Importance of Dancing!
When civil war broke out in Syria back in 2011, tourism was hit badly; many business owners and entrepreneurs were forced to close down their businesses. The civil war has been raging for almost a decade now, and while millions of Syrians fled their country trying to start over and live a normal life, a mile away from the war’s front lines, in Damascus’ Old City, young Syrians have started going out to bars and clubs as a way to experience the mere normality when living their everyday nightmare.
A Syrian citizen told Vice “when you’ve had to spend ten days locked inside due to rocket fire, you want to find somewhere you can get wasted.”
Many Syrians thought about fleeing the country, but now with the opportunity to socialize at those bars and have somewhat of a normal life, many have decided to stay put. “When I started to see life I stayed here,” 21-year-old Dana Ibrahim told Reuters. “I don’t want to be a refugee.” added.
We can’t deny that war is still happening, but it’s just a few miles away from the bars of Damascus’ Old City. Bab Sharqi is an area located in the eastern part of the city, and you can notice how the neighborhood will be almost completely packed on weekends as locals always look forward to escaping the daily nightmare they constantly live under.
“As I see it, a lot of people have subconsciously come to terms with the fact that they or their loved ones could be killed at any moment. Without realizing it, young people here are living every day as if it were their last—we’re simply trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.” drama graduate Fadi told Vice.
However, the nightlife can be more than just forgetting about the war, because it’s also helping to employ more Syrians at a time when the economy is suffering. According to Reuters, inflation has caused the Syrian pound to lose 90% of its value since 2011! Five hundred fifty Syrian pounds – which are equal to USD 1- will buy you one beer.