Friday, March 23, 2007

Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day here on Wednesday, which was made a national holiday around six years ago, as people remember it. All government offices, schools and universities close on March 21, but most businesses remain open. (Private companies often don't observe national holidays, even ones that are meant to be patriotic.)

Aside from the official recognition, the day wasn't much different for Syrian mothers. They mostly still cooked and performed household chores as they always do. (Few Syrian men know how to cook, as women -- first their mothers, then their wives -- have always cooked for them.)

For students and bureaucrats, it meant a day to relax, to drink fruit juice at Abu Shaker in Salhiya, to stroll in Tishreen Park, and to gather in the courtyard restaurants of the Old City and the fashionable sidewalk cafes of Shaalan.