It is always so terribly sentimental in the run-up to Christmas The older you get, the more urgent you are in need of the old shortbread recipe from Grammy (the secret ingredient is not love, but simply oodles of sugar and Butter). Or the Roger Whittaker album, the Christ child is strange every Time, as it has prepared in the sealed living room the gifts. If in the German television the donation marathon to run outside at 20 degrees but the Muezzin calls, then Christmas is extremely wide.

Simon Kremer: A little Lost in the middle East

Simon Kremer explored the forests of the homeland of mad, and later the deserts of the Arab world. Has retained his naivety until today, and had played, therefore, almost time for the Syrian military team football. It is, therefore, also changes in the Arab robe through the Saxon Switzerland ran. Shortly after that Pegida was founded. Now lives with his wife and daughter in Tunisia and travels as a Journalist through the Middle East. Had to find on the football field and in the delivery room, that you can quickly feel very foreign.

The housemates look confused

We sit at fourth in our student apartment in Damascus. The war is still a good year. In the Shops in the Christian quarter of the old city colorful glittering garlands hang in the Windows, strings of lights flashing in green, blue and red. We wallow, entirely appropriate for the beginning of twenty, in memories.

the townspeople, buy their One-Meter-Eighty-Nord man fir for 39,90 Euro at the hardware store, will not be able to understand the wonderful Sauerland region, this Tradition of the Christmas tree hitting. Also my roommate is watching only a little bit irritated, when I tell you that you are in Sauerland as well as probably in other Parts of Germany, where little villages stand in the midst of very much the the forest – just before Christmas, with the father, the siblings, and an axe or saw-armed, dark-dressed, went into the woods and his tree picked out.

Five minutes later we are on the road. The Palestinian scarves in front of the face, flashing Santa Claus hats on the head. The Mission is clear: A Christmas palm tree in Damascus, find the one that fits into the living room.

As an old altar boy, you only notice in the Diaspora, such as the world is a comprehensive Church

Christmas in the Orient is mostly well hidden, but always glittering and flashing brightly. Since the Santas are in their red costumes, riding on their camels by Jerusalem. The lights adorning the palm trees in Beirut. The Weihnachtssouks in Amman. But also the choirs of the African migrants in Tunis, the silent worship services in the small and large churches, there are here everywhere in the Region. As an old altar boy, you only notice in the Diaspora, such as the world is a comprehensive Church. Even if the Christian night starts at cosy temperatures under the palm trees.


Syrian city of Raqqa

“The world is not interested in us. It is”

However, we now need this Christmas palm tree for the living room. We drag through the streets of Damascus. Alone, the missing axe and the omnipresent secret service make us difficult to choose. At some point we find in the garden of the neighbouring house, at least a little palm-similar to what could go as a Christmas palm. And the Büschlein even has a pot and can be carried easily. Shortly thereafter, the Christmas palm tree is in our living room. Two flashing plastic star chains to ensure the appropriate mood. Christmas can come. And after the new year, we bring back the palm. This is the intent.

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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