Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A salute to Abu Fares

For some months now, I have had the pleasure of following a most enjoyable and engaging blog, maintained by Abu Fares (abufares said...the world according to a tartoussi)..
Now, isn't the Internet just amazing!?...
I have never met the man, but through reading the posts in his blog, full of delicate, charming and sincere images of himself, his likes and dislikes, and 'the world according to a taroussi', I feel that I have really come to know, and like, Abu Fares... Not more so than after reading his latest offering...
As the title suggests, his latest post 'what I like', lists a number of things Abu Fares likes.. He then promises to list things he doesn't like in a subsequent post.. I eagerly await that...
In a comment in a previous post, Abu Fares mentioned that reading a post on my blog was for him like 'looking in the mirror..'.. Well, his latest post made me realise exactly what he meant!.. There are quite a few similarities between what I like and what Abu Fares likes (thinkers vs. talkers, good food, walking in the rain, good food, sports, good food, reading, good food, Syria, good food, beautiful intelligent women, good food, 'trains, planes and automobiles'... and did I mention good food??..), However, I must point out that there are one or two things on his list that I do not like..
For one, I am a tea-total.. not on religious grounds, I reluctantly admit, but more because of personal convictions, that were later underpinned by professional experiences (you only need to see once the consequences of a drunken rage on some poor helpless victim, or the humiliation and self-destruction that alcoholics degenerate into, to be put off the stuff for life.. even 'in moderation'...)..
While I like most things mechanical, I loathe motorbikes.. with a passion.. Again, that is probably a reflection of my professional experiences.. I guess it is not surprising, since I spend a sizable proportion of my working day trying to mend, often with frustrating futility, victims of motorcycle crashes!..
The next item on the list is more of a 'can't do' rather that a 'don't like'.. and that is cooking!.. I am absolutely useless as a cook.. In fact, only I can eat what I cook!.. I blame it on the fact that I am blessed with a wife who is, without any shadow of a doubt, the best cook in the entire Galaxy.. One of my English colleagues, having tasted my wife's cooking, often introduces me as 'the best-fed man in Lancashire', to which I reply: 'In the Western hemisphere, my friend!..'
Nevertheless, the similarities far outnumber the differences.. M*A*S*H.. the private space (now, a room in my house that I built to use as a gym.. in years gone by, it was my photography darkroom in my parents' house).. and most importantly, the privilege of being part of a phenomenon called 'blogosphere'..
So, my friend Abu Fares, I am honoured and privileged to have met you in cyberspace.. I am delighted to discover that, despite our differences, we have so much in common.. Who knows?.. Perhaps one day we will meet, be it in your beloved Tartous, in my beloved Damascus, or even in this 'Green and Pleasant Land' that I now call 'home'...
(Photo by SB: The Red Arrows, Royal International Air Tattoo 2002, RAF Fairford)


abufares said...

Dear Syrian Brit

I am really humbled by your post. It came as a total shock and surprise to me.
I knew some time ago that we share lots of common interests. The beer and the motorcycles are rather my limits as far as having a good time is concerned. I understand you position exactly. My father, a doctor too, shares your beliefs to the letter and for the same reasons.
I look forward meeting with you some coming day. If you're ever in this neck of the wood, please let me know. I'll do the same if my fortunes ever take me to England, a country I've visited only once, a very long time ago.

Naji said...

Ha... You didn't think that I'd follow you over here, did you...?!

Well, we have more in common than you think... For one thing, we are both fans of AbuFares...(but hell, who isn't...?! The man is a great human being and a gifted writer...even if he is a tartoussi)

I am also one of your fans, which is why I am starting a world-wide campaign to convince you to change your pseudonym... I don't like it...!!! I'll get back to you with some ideas...

The Syrian Brit said...

Actually, I was hoping that you would follow me here!.. Welcome to my little patch..
As for the pseudonym, I am open to (polite) suggestions!..

Abu Fares,
I would look forward to welcoming you to my humble abode, should you ever visit England..

Ihsan said...

I love these types of posts! Although I'm of a different age group, but I smiled most of the time reading through this post and Abu Fares's (What I like) as I sensed similarities to me, not to mention your sincerities that overwhelmed these two posts.

Rime said...

What a nice post Syrian Brit, especially coming from another fellow Syrian blogger who has a lovely blog himself! In fact, I meant to comment on both of your comments about what you wished for your children: very nice!

Instead of bringing Abufares to England, wouldn't it be nicer to all meet in Syria one day?

I find Naji's suggestion very funny ... we got to know you as Syrian Brit, but just between us, there surely is a warmer nickname, even if it is just as accurate? I think we may need to bring in your wife on this.

Ascribo said...

It's strange how we get to know each other. The other day I tried hardly to remember how I found out about the blogs I read...It's unbelievable how we follow a link and find something that we'd never dreamed of! Sometimes I cannot even remember what led me to meeting that amazing guy, or this wonderful blog!

I enjoyed reading so much, thank you for revealing yourself to us, Bloggers!

Keep up the good work!

The Syrian Brit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Syrian Brit said...

It seems that Naji's worldwide campaign to make me change my pseudonym is already gathering momentum.. and it has gained the support of some powerful players!.. Rime, no less!..
Now, I could take a leaf out of Fouad Sanyoura's book and say that this amounts to a coup!.. but I won't..
In true democratic style, I put it
to all those calling for a change of nickname to put forward suggestions.. polite ones, of course!..
I feel a post coming!.. a post about where the name came from... and perhaps some clues to help interested parties come up with an alternative!.. But I am just too tired to start now.. it's been a very long day..
So watch the space..

MomTo5 said...

an old post but it made me happy!
maybe this is old school hehe but i think internet is fantastic,
it would be fun to read about when you 2 Syrians meet insch allah.