Simon Kremer // REPORTER

Middle East Correspondent

Ahlan wa-sahlan // Bonjour // Welcome // Willkommen

The Middle East is colourful. And full of stories.

I met the last ‘official’ storyteller of Damascus in a café near the old Ummayad Mosque in 2009, long before the war destroyed most of syrias cities and its society. He was sitting there with an old stick woth mother of pearl inlays, swirling it around and reciting one of the old stories of 1001 nights. Men were gathering in the corner, smoking Nargileh while the coke-labeled refrigator was rumbling in another corner. It was the synchrony of modern and traditional Syria. I was fascinated and told his story like he did with 1001 nights.

To me the Middle East is not only a region full of conflicts – but it is like an arabic market place: a souk. Bright, colourfull and confusing most of the times. But you will find a story to tell on every corner you pass. That’s why I am here. But instead of the old storyteller’s stick I am hitting the road with a pen. And my camera. See you around!