The Story of Damascus Hostel
Having been forced into retirement after living in Australia for forty years I began making lengthy visits to my country of origin in the Middle East. I found it difficult to find good, clean accommodation at a reasonable price, especially in the Old City of Damascus. I was overawed with the ancient and diverse cultural aspects of this amazing city so I bought a house as a place for lengthy stay in Damascus for when my family visits. I found a traditional Arabic old house built with a turret into the old wall of the city. It was too big for me and in order to reduce the cost of upkeep I felt the need to experience hostel-type accommodation similar to that we had in Perth. When my daughter Natalie went to Curtin University in Perth, Australia she used to bring her friends to stay over. This led us to start accommodation for foreign students in Perth, Australia. It became so popular we had to rent a few houses to meet the demand. This is what I aimed for when I started Damascus Hostel in mid-2007.
Visitors to Damascus and friends and families of students staying at the hostel asked if they could stay with us too. That was when we began a type of Bed & Breakfast which eventually evolved into our guest hostel as it is today.
Before having to retire due to ill health I spent over 20 years travelling on business in South East Asia and the Far East. I used to spend 2-3 months a year away from home. I did not enjoy my long stays at hotels. I noted the things I would have liked to have had at those hotels and I included these in my Hostel. From experience, when landing in a foreign country and being unable to speak, read or write the language, every bit of information helps. That is what we endeavour to give: information to make your stay in Syria a pleasant one.
I was born in Haifa, Palestine and fled to Nablus in 1948 when war broke out. Nablus later became part of the West Bank of Jordan. After graduating matriculation, I went to live and work in Kuwait in 1965 as many Palestinians did.I worked with Italian company that was establishing the first Hydroponic industry. That is a story for another day and is the topic of a book in progress.
After the 1967 war I could not return to Nablus and visit my family so I emigrated to Australia and sponsored my family, which now numbers over 60, to follow. I began to study electrical engineering at Adelaide University while working for the Big Australian BHP in shipbuilding in Whyalla. For economic reasons I had to quit study and moved to Western Australia. During my first 3 years in Australia I worked as crane, fireman, train driver and truck driver. As a miner, boilermaker, welder, plumber, carpenter/chippy and electrician/sparky without qualifications I used to print the document/certificate required to get the job. Before I got a job every time .I learnt these trades on the job. You can’t do this any more these days. I dabbled with insurance and cosmetics and home renovations too.
I made a fortune and lost it a few times trading the stock market and foreign currency, Forex.
Soon after this I settled in Perth, Western Australia where I started my business in fashion and accessories for women which became one of the top ten in Australia. I was forced to sell the business in 1990 due to ill health caused by undiagnosed sleep apnea. In 1999 I partly regained my health( like a new lease of life and made regular trips to my country of origin The Levant. I discovered that unique house in the Old City which is today’s Damascus Hostel.
Welcome to Damascus Hostel, we trust you will enjoy your stay with us,
Hotels de Charm in Old CityWe are the alternative
There are a number of boutique style hotels in the Old City. These provide specialty accommodation, the ultimate in charm and luxury at prices not everyone can afford. Check out some of these hotels:Beit al Mamlouka, Beitzaman, Beitruman, Talisman Hotel, Oriental Hotel.
Since we started our Hostel for students we soon discovered a big demand for reasonably priced rooms in the Old City. Therefore we changed from students to a mix of students and tourists. We provide accommodation that is comfortable, clean and affordable.
We have, at the Hostel, a CPAP machine for loan free to guests with sleep apnoea in case yours isn’t working. Visit www.sleep-cap.com