Lady of the Largest Heart: Remembering Muna Imady


Muna Imady might have lived 5700 miles away in Damascus, Syria, but she often felt as close as my cell-phone.

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A Damascene Baby Shower (Imbarakeh)

baby shower I stood in front of my closet, wondering what to wear to the baby shower. Social occasions have become so rare that it exhausts me to decide what to wear whenever I'm obliged to do so.

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A Damascene Story

A Damascene Tale

Passing down stories from one generation to the next has long been a family tradition in the Arab World. My Syrian grandmother “Tete” not only spun folktales from the dark shadows of the night, but also knitted together memories of the family into wonderful stories. Regardless of how many times they were told by her, they never failed to fascinate us. One favorite of mine was about my father and the notable Christian doctor.

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A Damascene Wedding

A Damascene Wedding

As I opened the door, my young neighbor came in fluttering like a butterfly. “Its my brother’s wedding” she said enthusiastically as she waved the invitation card in my face “You and your daughter are both invited” she said “My Mom will be expecting to see you” She gave me a hug and fluttered out.

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A Damascene Wedding Shower Amid the War

Damascene Wedding Shower Amid the War

The whole building seemed to shake with the loud Arabic music until it was silenced by the shrilling sound of a shell passing over the city:

Sweet music!
Echoing in my ears.

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A Death in the Family

Fox and Crow

On the way to our usual weekly trip to the supermarket, my father called my mother and asked her to pass by my sick aunt. Fortunately we were close to her apartment and the roads that are usually hindered by the endless traffic and checkpoints went smoothly that day.

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Beirut in a Damascene’s Eyes


As the driver drove down the rocky mountain towards Beirut, a dust storm hung over the city. The driver pointed at it and explained that it was much worse last week, when it had stopped a planned peaceful demonstration in Beirut. I remembered how quiet it was in Damascus when the dust storm covered it with a blanket of yellow dust; no sound of bullets breaking the silence of the night, nor of shells flying over the city

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Damascus – February is the Month of Cats: Shbat Shahr Alattat

Muna's cat

Damascene cats prowl the streets, Indifferently feasting on uncollected trash. Joining people searching in garbage cans,

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Poems From Damascus

Imady - Damascus

I wake up and reach for the coffee pot and turn on the faucet, but to my great shock there is no water. I frantically call my neighbors and they say the whole city is without water! This has never happened before. The Fijeh spring, the main source of water in Damascus, has never been cut.

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Reactions and Realities: A Poet’s Perspective, A Visitor’s View

Letter from Damascus Inspiration comes from unlikely sources. For poet Muna Imady that source falls daily from the skies above her beloved Damascus. She inhabits a world governed by the sound of shells landing too close for comfort, a world of checkpoints and queues. Yet, she distills the cacophony of it all into ordered images that crystalize the Damascene day.

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Snow in Damascus


As I stood at my the window watching the big snowflakes falling outside, I remembered how thrilled and excited I felt in the past about snow.  Now, ever since the crisis in Syria started, snow no longer fills my heart with happiness. On the contrary, it makes me feel sad for the thousands of Syrian refugees facing the cold in their tents.

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The Three Spinners: A Syrian Folktale

Three Spinners

I was born in one of the oldest cities in the world to an American mother and a Syrian father who enriched my life and exposed me to different worlds at an early age. Perhaps this helped me become aware of how folk tales reflect in a simple fashion the customs, habits and beliefs of different cultures.

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What Will Be, Will Be

Haj under night sky As I walk into the fancy apartment, the sounds of the mizhar (tamborine) echo in my ears. I take off my shoes along with everyone else and we are let into a large room lit by two large crystal chandeliers. The room is crowded with women sitting on chairs and young girls sitting on a Persian rug, patiently waiting for my sister-in-law to arrive. This Mouled we are attending will not only celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammad but also the return of my sister-in-law from her pilgrimage to Mecca - haj.

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Where Were the Shells Fired From?

Shells flying in Damascus I’ve not met the writer Muna Imady in person nor have I heard her speaking voice. I was introduced to her through Wild River Review correspondent E. E. Whiting who met her in Syria. I communicate with Muna regularly through email and Facebook. When I read her raw, personal, and expressive emails or see her Facebook posts, I feel as though I know her in the way one might recognize a long lost relative.

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