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victorsglobe Deir ez Zor - A travel report by Victor
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Deir ez Zor,  Syria - flag Syria -  Dayr az Zawr
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victorsglobe's travel reports

Dier ez-Zur: City on the Euphrates (In Progress!)

  9 votes
Dier ez-Zur is a booming oil town in Eastern Syria on the Euphrates River. A few worthwhile attractions and the friendliness of the locals welcome those willing to go off the beaten track.

While there may not be much in the way of tourist attractions, Deir ez-Zur stands out for me and other travellers I've talked to mostly because of its people. Getting to Dier ez-Zur is not for the faint of heart. Crossing the Syrian desert in summer or early fall is a painful experience even by bus. Few people will speak English and there isn't much in the way of tourist/visiter infrastructure. Once there, though, you will be welcomed by people of all ages with an eager "merhaba" and a curious "where you from."

Favourite spots:
The small mosque, home, and fertile garden of the family that welcomed me in for a glass of homemade lemonade and some dates.

The French suspension bridge over the Euphrates at sunset where one of the kids selling pictures to Syrian tourists was so excited to see that he had the same camera as me.

What's really great:
The greatest thing about Deir ez-Zur was the people I met. At first I felt uneasy being an American so close to the Iraqi border, but as I walked through the city on my way to the hotel the countless childern saying "hallo" and "merhaba" loosened me up. A young kid decided to show me to my hotel. Our great broken conversation about my hat and watch soon sealed our friendship.

The Archeological Museum is really worth a visit. It has an excellent collection and gives the best chronology of any museum in Syria. Also, you're likely to be the only one there, so you get to feel important when the custonian goes out of his way to open it for you. The free cup of tea will help cool you down.


Other recommendations:
The archeological dig at the cite of the Mesopotamian city of Mari to the south of the city was difficult to get to but fascinating. Also the Syrian workers there are unaccustomed to too many visiters, so you'll get a very eager welcome from them as well.

Specifics coming soon!

Published on Thursday December 2th, 2004

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