Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Damascus Gig Guide

Let's face it.  Even when I'm at home it's easy to think of better things to do with my evenings than go to lectures.  So on holiday (even if it is a working holiday), you'd think I'd have to be dragged away from my bowl of pistachios, wailing and clawing at the eyes of my assailant before I'd consider doing anything educational.

That was before I read the Damascus Gig Guide.

Unfortunately we came across this little gem on our last day in Syria, so didn't actually get to attend any of the listed events, but here is the cream of May's offerings, starting with "Lectures and Workshops."

Scientific offerings included the intriguing "Stem cells, the smell of life and its essence."  Or perhaps "The cupping and the science" might have answered a few of those niggling questions that have been troubling me.  For those more interested in the history of science, there was "Science in the contemporary ago", and "The beginning of space ago."  Or for the dentists, "Treatment of the tooth pegs in processor core."

Had I the time, I could have learned quite a lot from the sociology workshops.  All men should attend "Husband's mastery and its influence on marital harmony."  Or if you're more interested in issues of social justice, one group was addressing that age-old problem: "Workshop about illiteracy and its influence on the life of blind women."  My favorite though was the all-encompassing "Workshop for the teachers of puppet theatre and workers with two hands."  For those less fortunate people without two hands, there was the rather broad "Conference for disabled people."

The literary workshop "Creativity is not inherited or acquired" left me intrigued about what the third option might be.  Perhaps that could be answered by the presenter of "My carrier as an independent literary publisher."

Of course, there were also less intellectual entertainments on offer in the form of films and opera.  Who could forget the "Scientific fiction film 'The War of the Worlds'"?  Or, "The Second Space Odessa"?  If you're not a huge science fiction fan, perhaps the "Tragically comedy film Doshka" might appeal.  For the Shakespeare buffs there was, of course, "The twelfth night," followed by his most famous work "Big clamor of nothing."

There were even some options for the kids.  If they've already seen "Play al Ninja Tortoises", perhaps you might like to take them along to "The second celebration of Orphan Day."  I guess the first celebration just didn't celebrate being an orphan hard enough.

It was with a heavy heart that I had to settle for the in-flight films on the way home.

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