Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tourists care more about being shot than sanctions on financial instutitions and against weapons shipments

Among the causes listed in this article for the Syrian Pound's plummeting value:
Western sanctions that have collapsed Syria’s main money-earning industries of oil and tourism
uh, I don't think that sanctions are the reason that tourists aren't going to Syria. And I say that as someone who, until 2 years or so ago, was a fairly big booster of Syrian tourism. I personally recommended to several people that they visit there, because it really was a great place to visit.

In fact, the sanctions that were in effect in 2005 had no effect on my trip, other than the brief pre-trip anxiety mentioned in this post. If not for the violence, I would still be plugging the virtues of Syria as a place to visit. It really had a lot going for it: a lot of diversity, fantastic ruins from several different ancient civilisations, super-safe while at the same time perceived as being really dangerous (thus giving you bonus cool points for going), it's a great place to practice Arabic (if you're into that sort of thing), and the cost of everything there was really cheap. Sure, I had to keep the ew-jay thing under my hat, but otherwise, it was one of my best trips.

And now watching that all being destroyed. (Except for the cheapness.With the pound cratering, I'm sure you can get some great deals). I know that being ruined as a nice place to visit is way down the list of tragedies going on in Syria right now. But I still mourn the loss whenever Syria comes up in my life, like every time that I look at my phone.