Images: Fatie in her kitchen in Damascus; Fatie in “Down Town”, Damascus, May-June 2009.
Fatie Darwish, from Manchester, drove to Syria in 1948. Fatie had her reasons for being extremely reluctant to tell her story in any detail. However, when I visited her in May-June 2009, she did agree to record her impressions of Damascus. Instead of speaking off the cuff, Fatie wrote something quickly in an exercise book and then read from it.
Fatie begins, When I first came to Damascus in 1948, camels used to kneel before my apartment .. . She goes on to say, It was a strange and good world, and I enjoyed it. …. I hope you will hear me and come to Syria, my beloved Syria.
This recording was first uploaded onto the ABC “Pool” page, but “Pool” was closed in early 2013. It is hoped this blog will have a longer life, so Fatie’s memories of Damascus can stay ‘alive’ online.
Fatie and me, photograph taken by Jenny Joyce.