Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Hotel Semiramis, Damascus, Syria, 1955
I admit it. As postcards go, this one isn't all that impressive. But, when I saw that it was from Syria, I thought I should pick it up. The Hotel Semiramis is still in business and, as of right now, taking reservations. Of course, how much longer that will last is any one's guess. I've got a funny feeling that a good portion of Damascus will be in ruins before the last of the Assad family flees or is killed.
Printed on the back, "Damascus-Semiramis Hotel" "Reproduction Interdite Photo Deposee" Vraie Photographie Printed in Lebanon" "Photo Sport-Bab Edriss-Souk Seyour-Beyrouth" The French shouldn't be too surprising. During the first world war, France and Great Britain publicly supported the Arab revolt, but secretly negotiated the Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided the non Turkish parts of the Ottoman Empire into French and British spheres of interest. In a nutshell, modern day Lebanon and Syria became de facto French colonies. Lebanon and Syria wouldn't gain their independence until 1948.
There are a number of Semiramis hotels in the eastern Mediterranean and Arab states.