This comment was chosen by Mod ZZ from the post “In Syria, Russia Defends Civilization – the West Sides with Barbarism”. The moderator believes this comment is very uplifting and timely to this struggle. It speaks for itself –  beautiful.

Comment by Dr. N.G. Maroudas

That classical concert Palmyra, with the sun shining on the golden stone of antiquity, celebrates the return of Syria to its normal civilized self. Once again Syria impresses the world by its ability to shrug off foreign Empires. A Yankee tourist wrote 150 years ago that everything in the USA was bigger and better than anything in the Middle East – except for Damascus, which awed him totally. From Mark Twain’s book, “The Yankees Abroad”:

“Damascus is an oasis whose waters have not failed for thousands of years. Go back as far as you will into the vague past of cities, there was always a Damascus. No recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was already in existence to receive news of it. In the writings of every century for more than 4,000 years its name has been mentioned and its praises sung [we now know Damascus city is 8,000 years old].

To Damascus years are only moments, decades only flitting trifles of time.She measures time not by years but by the Empires she has seen rise and prosper and crumble to ruin. She saw Baalbek and Thebes and Ephesus grow into mighty cities, and she has lived to see them deserted. She saw the Israelitish Empire of David and Solomon exalted, and she saw it annihilated. She saw Greece rise and the Empire of Alexander flourish and die. She saw Rome built; she saw its Empire overshadow the world; she saw it perish. Damascus has seen all this, and still she lives. Though others may lay claim be called The Eternal City, it is Damascus who deserves that name by right.”

[And Mark Twain ends his book, The Innocents Abroad, with this tribute to Damascus:]

“Damascus – the Pearl of the East, the pride of Syria, the original Garden of Eden, the home of princes, of fabled genii of The Arabian Nights, of Damascus steel tough but sharp as a razor, of Damask silk soft as a young girl’s cheek – the one city in the world that has kept its name and held its place and looked serenely on while transitory Empires have enjoyed their little season of pride and pomp, then vanished and been forgotten”.

Twain wrote in the middle of the 19th century. By the 20th century Damascus had also seen the sun set on Great Britain’s “Empire on which the sun never sets”.

And now, in this classical concert in Palmyra, Damascus bears witness to the sunset of the Anglo-Bankers Empire of Chaos, and a return to civilized values.

But the greatest tribute to Damascus is the one which Mark Twain could not bring himself to relate, because he was an atheist: an ancient story about military “boots on the ground” in Syria, headed by one Saul, “a Hebrew of the Hebrews and citizen of Rome”. Saul’s bosses in Jerusalem and Rome had spread the word that certain Syrians were evil and should be “taken out”. It was on a punitive expedition to Damascus that a blinding light threw Saul off his horse, and a voice rang in his ears: “Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute Me?”.

The greatest tribute which the modern world can give to Damascus is, that great light from Heaven is still shining and that great voice of compassion is still ringing in our ears.