Thursday, March 08, 2007

Names of the dead

The walls of the city's churches and mosques are plastered everyday with notices of the dead. On one page, sometimes framed around a picture of the deceased or a cross or a crescent, are the details of a person's life, often condensed to dates of birth and death, and of funeral arrangements and burial.

There is no obituary page in Syria.

New deaths cover old ones; they line up side by side, with time flaking from the sun and rain. Sometimes they peel off completely, revealing an old death, announced anew.