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Talk:Syria

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Revision as of 22:25, 23 September 2009 by Neil C (Talk | contribs)

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"A taxi from Beirut to Damascus will cost about..." was revised from $15 to $18 here (Sep'05) then from $18 to $10 here (Jan'06) - is the $18->$10 edit valid? (or maybe $18 is "per seat" and $10 is "per person"?)

-"hounded by children begging for money, pens..." Children begging for pens? Are they selling the pens? Perhaps similar to kids in Tijuana? Folduprabbit

I think they meant begging for pens. I've toned the language down a bit. Geocachernemesis 05:01, 21 February 2007 (EST)

Safety

Sorry, but I reverted your edits... calling Syria "very" safe to travel isn't correct, so if you're going to bring up the US State dept's statements, I'd like you to point out somewhere in one of them a statement that sounds anything like that... Here's the most current consular info sheet and travel warning. If you disagree, talk about it here. And advising people to stay away from the US Embassy and buildings like it isn't really relevant, regardless of if there was a bomb attack. If someone needs to reach their embassy, then they need to reach their embassy... a statement here isn't going to change that - Cacahuate 17:35, 21 February 2007 (EST)

I'm not sure what it is with you guys, but you really do love your wholesale reversion. You will note that more than half of the edits you reverted didn't relate directly to the concerns you have raised. It would have been better if you had modified only the parts that you disagreed with. I was trying to add to the usefulness of this article as a rescource for travellers. I don't think that is served by bringing in the opinions of the US State Department, because they are highly likely to be politically motivated. My experience with Syria is that it is far safer than it is given credit for. You should have noticed that my edit said that Syria was generally very safe, meaning that occasionally it is not that safe, particularly around the boundries with Lebanon and Jordan. Just having the attack on the US Embassy mentioned without anything else is simply a scare tactic. There needs to be a reason to include it, and the danger of a repeat attack was the only good one I could think of. I wasn't saying that you shouldn't go to the embassy area in Damascus, but that it would be prudant to avioid it when you can, because lightning can strike twice. Anyway, this article needs a lot of work before it is ready to be used. I will look on with interest to see how it develops. Geocachernemesis 05:02, 22 February 2007 (EST)
Actually, it's very good in my view, being a Wikipedian, your view to whats needed might be different, here we talk about what matters, not about how many grains of sand Syria has.... --MiddleEastern 12:40, 22 February 2007 (EST)[not that I disagree about Syria being safe, I live here! and I'm aware of nature of the official US "truth"]
More than 1/2??? I mistakenly overlooked the tiny addition to service taxis you made, which I'll restore now... but pretty much everything else was toning down what you wrote (actually what you re-wrote, it had already been toned toned down once, and if you disagreed then you can come here and talk about it instead of just re-adding). I don't think we're heavy handed with the reverts at all, and when it's someone like you who is well meaning and not just a vandal we come to the talk page or the user talk page and explain what we've done, as I did above. I welcome your contributions, including the one we're discussing, but just know that others may disagree, so we'll then work towards a consensus. I hope you'll contribute more, with that in mind  :) - Cacahuate 15:56, 22 February 2007 (EST)
Ok, a little more, read your post too quickly... re the embassy, I don't think it's weird to just say that the embassy was attacked, or that "sometimes Western interests are targeted", that's a pretty standard statement. If it was something other than an embassy, than maybe yes we could say to avoid it or the area, but telling people that the embassy was bombed and should be avoided, to me, is more of a scare tactic... the embassy is what people there would be wanting to look to in an emergency. And regarding "very" safe, I think it's better to just write "Syria is generally safe, but...". "Very" would only be included, in my opinion, if the sentence wasn't followed by a "but", so that was my reasoning on that... p.s., I was just in Afghanistan for pleasure, so I'm definitely not on the side of trying to make things sound scarier than they are... I come from the more realistic point of view, like you, and take the US State dept warning with a grain of salt... :) - Cacahuate 16:09, 22 February 2007 (EST)

Continuing on the safety topic. The "Stay Safe" section seems well balanced, but I'm bothered that the first thing to greet me on loading the page is a big, red, "WARNING." Given that Syria is one of the safest countries in the region (certainly has experienced less violence than any of its neighbours), I think this is over the top, and am removing it. Neil 15:39, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Agree – cacahuate talk 18:43, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Internet

I changed this sentence: "The authorities have blocked direct access to most pornography and all Israeli sites - for the purpose of """not""" escalating the current Israeli-led conflict."

Sounds like an apology for censorship. I think we should avoid analysis of why the Syrian government is blocking Israeli sites and stick to the facts.

No, it's a justification of internet safety. --MiddleEastern 08:10, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Actually I think it's probably better to remove the sentence, for the sake of sticking to the basics and not using any language that can seem biased - why it's blocked isn't really all that useful to the traveler... I'm gonna take it out again - Cacahuate 20:45, 8 March 2007 (EST)

Governates

Hey there, I unlinked all of those governates - for one, if we did create them, the names were more correct before they were just changed... however, we break countries up according to what is easily digestible for the traveler, and don't necessarily create articles for each governate, etc, unless warranted. When it comes time to divide it up, something similar to Northern Syria, Southern Syria, Western Syria, etc will probably suffice  :) Sorry to undo your work! – cacahuate talk 20:41, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

Good plan - I've also just vfd'd a page that was unlinked. -- Tim (writeme!) 09:04, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

Passport

I am an American-Canadian dual citizen, and can travel on a Canadian or American passport. Would it be a better idea to travel to Syria as a Canadian than an American? Amssports06 13:47, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

Given the choice, Canadian might be a little better, but I wouldn't expect a huge amount of resentment either if you travel on your American one. I haven't been to Syria, but having been through Pakistan and Afghanistan on an American passport, I would expect more of the same in Syria... people who know the difference between our government and our people, and people who don't live up to the rhetoric we hear in our news. – cacahuate talk 11:35, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
I'd go with the Canadian, for the sole reason that I'd hate to go through immigration in the US with Syrian stamps in my passport... Jpatokal 21:12, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

It is incorrect that one can get a visa at the borders. This is only theoretically possible for people whose home countries do not have consular representation from Syria.

According to the Syrian embassy in Sweden, visa can be obtained at the border if you have Finnish, Norwegian or Danish passports. Not sure why Swedish is not listed, maybe they forgot.

Golan Heights, etc

Hey there, so for Wikitravel we're only concerned with the traveler, so since Golan Heights is controlled by Israel and travelers would be subject to Israeli jurisdiction, we treat it as part of Israel... which is the same thing we do for Kashmir and other disputed territories... it's in no way a political statement or acceptance of any situation, it's simply the reality involved in traveling to these places.

As for the formatting, we don't necessarily break up countries by government districts, and division of the article should be discussed before it's done... when you spread it out into a bullet point list like that it encourages people to start creating articles for each of them, which we don't necessarily want, which is why it's better to just keep it in paragraph form until Syria is regioned off... hope that helps! – cacahuate talk 16:57, 28 July 2008 (EDT)

Ba`ath Party

This is rather pedantic, but I removed the reference to the Ba`ath as the "only legal political party," since in fact the ten other constituent parties of the National Progressive Front (SSNP, etc.) are also legal political parties.163.1.234.109 10:34, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Regions

Syria regions for discussion

Here's a new map of Syria.... no region breakdown existed, so I took a wild stab at it, and it's open to much debate.... anything need moving around? Do these regions make sense at all for travel? I grouped together political regions into travel ones, but if we need to draw different lines then let me know. Here's what I'm thinking for naming:

  • Northern Syria – Aleppo, the Dead Cities, and oodles of noodleshistory

Thoughts? – cacahuate talk 01:21, 2 June 2009 (EDT)

I'm also Syria ignorant, but from the perspective of distribution of content, this looks very good. Since it's also clearly marked by administrative boundaries, I'd say this looks at least good enough to bring into the main namespace. If it requires significant adjustment in the future, that probably won't be too hard to do since it's just four regions. --Peter Talk 02:26, 2 June 2009 (EDT)
I've been away from Wikitravel for a while. The map you've drawn up doesn't exactly make a whole lot of sense from an on the ground perspective. Generally, the areas I'd divide it into would the Orontes (A north south strip following the more densely populated parts of the interior: Bosra, Damascus, Homs, Aleppo), the Euphrates (east of Aleppo to Deir and the Iraqi border...probably include the distance north to the Turkish border as well), the Coast/Mountain region (basically draw a line continuing the Lebanese border north) and the Desert (everything else).
I'm not sure how well this lines up with administrative boundaries, but makes the most sense in terms of grouping common Cultural/historical stuff. The Coast/Mountain region is green and fertile, relatively Christian, somewhat liberal, and dominated by Phoenician and Crusader history. The Orontes is quite urban, again quite liberal. The Euphrates is culturally distinct...not particularly densely populated, much more conservative, and historically falls in more with the Cradle of Civilisation (Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.) The desert is, well, the desert. --Neil 18:21, 23 September 2009 (EDT)

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