Comments: 7564 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

Dr-A-cula5356 karma

Would you show us how the view from your window looks? Or something from your neighborhood?

arcticnaram8872 karma

Here is my neighbourhood right this second. You made me go outside... https://imgur.com/28VK2DX

hebaliz3963 karma

In what capacity is "normal life" possible for the people who have stayed in Damascus? Are people still able to work, study, meet up socially, eat out? How does a "normal day" differ for you, compared to those of us not living in a country at war? And thirdly, why have you stayed? Not judging, just interested.

Thanks, and greetings from Hamburg. Germany

arcticnaram5935 karma

All these things are possible. I'm living a teenager life like heaven. Work is availabe also the wages cannot suport even a single person so most people take two jobs. We do all normal human things and more though! Just the differences is we sometimes can't go to certain areas because of bombs and whatnot. We also have our car searched every 20 minutes, sometimes military people like to fuck with us for fun and things on this level mostly. I answered why I didn't leave in another reply. Thank you! And sorry for all the refugees in Germany (the asshole ones) hahaha.

Sexlexiaaa3815 karma

Just the differences is we sometimes can't go to certain areas because of bombs and whatnot.

This does not sound like heaven.

arcticnaram3045 karma

Well war countries also have loose laws so I'm partying my ass off. Also we're pretty thick skinned by now so bombs don't make us flinch tbh.

PurpleTeapotOfDoom2961 karma

What's your Internet connection like?

arcticnaram11728 karma

Here come the tears. Absolute shit. Our maximum speed for households is 4 mb/s , my house has 1 mb/s. If you can't imagine what that's like, I can't watch youtube quality higher than 360p without buffering and if I wanna download a 1 gb movie it takes me like 4-5 hours. Just bomb me already.

goosefeather1721 karma

Such serious issues. Then you drop the "just bomb me already". Love the light hearted humor amongst the heavy issues. Thank you for putting a smile on my face ... and please please don't get bombed.

arcticnaram1174 karma

Well sarcasm gets me through the day. No need! I'll see what I can do about the bomb thing.

PurpleTeapotOfDoom385 karma

A couple of years ago I had a similar connection here in the UK on the edge of a city so I sadly know just what that's like. I worked out that I got faster bandwidth getting the bus into town and buying a movie on dvd than using our Internet at home. About the only good thing about that slow connection is that I really appreciate the fast connection I have now. I hope yours improves too.

arcticnaram519 karma

I think our internet is heading for the better. I'm sorry to hear that and I'm glad you have a faster bandwidth rn. I used to buy movies which are also pirated (we have zero original things here) but they trick you with the quality and I'd rather suffer the buffering than watch a cinema mobile-shot quality. We also do have a cinema here although it's expensive as fuck.

whitewallsuprise2865 karma

How many Mcdonalds do you have around you ?

arcticnaram8270 karma

Asking the real questions. The fucked up thing is, zero. We have zero McDonald's. Please donate a big mac I'm fucking starving.

whitewallsuprise1677 karma

Follow up.

What kind of world wide fast food chain restaurants exist around you/in the country ?

arcticnaram3719 karma

Before the war we had KFC and Subway and I think we had a Hardee's and there were plans for a McDonald's but now we have zero world-wide fast food resturants.

laybubu2491 karma

Does ركن الدين neighbourhood still exist? There used to be a resrurant there called ali baba, they had the best broasted chicken and shwarma on earth.

arcticnaram3772 karma

It's still all there! Although ركن الدين is known for 12 year olds with knives.

dirtyqtip1998 karma

What silly stuff do you do in your spare time to keep yourself entertained?

arcticnaram3715 karma

Inside the house: I read, write poetry, draw, surf reddit and things like that. Outside the house: I mostly roam the streets with friends bc it's fun, car rides, going to bars, smoking weed (well, hash, we don't have mary here) and again things of that sort. Sorry if I wasn't specific enough, you can ask me more if you want!

dirtyqtip357 karma

With all the conflict going on in Syria, how does it effect your daily life?

arcticnaram968 karma

I'm sorry I answered this like 3 times now, but if you're lazy like me I'll answer again. It moslty doesn't affect it because I've gotten used to things and even if I haven't it's not like we're missing anything here. The only thing I'd consider annoying is the spread of military men and the car searches, ID checks , etc.

spazzvogel1908 karma

With the fall of ISIS strongholds and liberation of cities, has the euphoria faded yet? The images of women tearing off full body coverings, etc, are women wearing less conservative in some aspects?

arcticnaram2930 karma

Well in Damascus,the capital, where I live, ISIS didn't reach us so mostly nothing's changed. The majority still wear conservative clothes for religious and most importantly social reasons. While most people around me wear normal things and crop-tops/shorts, etc.

ILoveJagger1818 karma

Ever played the Assassin’s Creed? Huge fan of the game, have always wanted to visit Damascus and Masyaf.

arcticnaram2969 karma

Ofcourse! I love the game (pre-pirate sequels) and they did a great job of simulating Damascus and Masyaf, they're very close to realistic.

Uramon1447 karma

There are so many parts involved in the syrian civil war to seem like an incomprehensible tangle of alliances and enmities.

Do you side with any of them in particular?

What do you think about Assad?

arcticnaram3045 karma

I try to keep out of politics because saying/doing the wrong thing can literally get you killed. I don't side with anyone really, I just want this to end in the best way possible. Assad is not the best president but he knew how to keep things in order and he provided benefits like no other so yeah I don't mind him staying even if that means a little oppression.

YardSardonyx1272 karma

In a country so many have fled, what is it that keeps you there?

arcticnaram3230 karma

Well I have a good life, considering, and I don't wanna become a refugee. Our college is good and I'm studying in med school here. But if I get a scholarship I'm out in a heartbeat, not because of the war but because of the society tbh. I just can't afford tuition without a scholarship and that's what's mostly keeping me here.

YardSardonyx1229 karma

Thanks for the answer, wish you the best of luck in med school!

arcticnaram1822 karma

Thank you! And to you, the best in life.

firefly63451190 karma

Any signs of Christmas over there?

arcticnaram2817 karma

Are you kidding? We decorate everythingggggg (Muslim and Christian areas alike). I used to have an all year round christmas tree!

dimichuji433 karma


arcticnaram481 karma

I'll deliver when I visit these places tonight! Sorry!

armeniapedia1048 karma

Great, AMA, thanks. Since nobody has asked, and you offered, I am curious what your sex life would be like in a predominantly Muslim country during a long civil war.

Also, what do you think will happen with the refugees who fled during the war when it ends? Do you think most will come back? A few? Some minorities more than others?

arcticnaram1950 karma

Thank you very much! I was waiting for this question lmao. Well personally I'm not a virgin and many of my friends aren't also, the sex life for teenagers here is blooming and we really do get slutty. Although virginity is still somewhat sacred so I've seen girls who do anal to keep their virginity intact, also we're getting sluttier by the generation! Ofcourse I'm speaking from my own experience and surroundings but if we wanna talk generally then sex before marriage=death is the general idea. Syrian people have an enormous love for Syria so I think the refugees that were forced to flee will come back while the refugees that went seeking a better life (by choice) won't.

Lisamarieducky426 karma

Generally sex before marriage = death. NBD guys

arcticnaram432 karma

Well not literal death, I fucked up.

status_two987 karma

How is the general atmosphere there now?

Best to you and your friends/family.

arcticnaram1617 karma

Things are calming down, the Syrian army is taking back many places and the bombings have become less occuring, but still if you see the country you cannot deny it is going through a war. Like I said before: military blocks, fucked up economy, the occasional bombs or missiles or just bullets. But yeah it's more than tolerable. Thank you very much, and to you x

status_two265 karma

Thanks for your answer. Do you or would you keep a photo journal of your town/city/state? I think we in the west don't ever get much info of what's going on in the day to day of the citizens affected by the conflict.

What is the feeling that your friends have about everything vs the older folks? Also, you're still young, would you leave Syria?

arcticnaram714 karma

I can photograph anything you ask me to. And I'm willing because why not! My friends and I are called the "war generation" were we are mostly used to everything that's happening so we lead a normal life. The old folks though cannot have a single conversation without politics coming up and I'd say they're having a harder time accommodating. I would leave Syria, although for social reasons not anything war-related.

yy89878 karma

What percentile in household does you/your family rank in wealth?

Are you considered the average Syrian or the 5% or the 1%?

Asking because you have met Assad and attend private schools etc, want to know if your response are representative of the average Syrian.

arcticnaram646 karma

I'm considered middle class. I've met Assad on accident it's not that rare around here. Same with the private schools. I'd say im top 30% (?)

IrishBA691 karma

Whats the best outcome for Syria? With Assad (seems hard to accept given that he bombed his own countrymean) or without Assad (Seems hard to accept as it would likely lead to a post-war Iraq scenario).

arcticnaram1509 karma

Well you have to understand that Assad isn't really making the decisions, the corruption here is unbelievable, it is so above the table it's ridiculous. I've met Assad and his wife, and I know his son, they seem good-hearted to a certain level. He's also fighting corruption in a way that could get him killed so he is trying to better the country. I think him staying is the best option even if we have to accept some sort of underlying dictatorship.

travelersanonymous509 karma

Please share the story of meeting Assad and his family!

arcticnaram1481 karma

Well I met his wife when I was a kid and I didn't know she was the first lady so she asked me what the meaning of my name was, and apparently I was like "Do you really not know? What sort of question is that?" Luckily she laughed. I then met her and Assad again while I was older at an Opera and she remembered me and introduced me to him and we chatted for a bit. His son goes to some of the parties I used to go to and we have common friends so we've sat together before.

gharmonica659 karma

Fellow Syrian redditing from Lebanon. I have few questions:

  • Is Hizbollah's presence noticeable in Damascus?

  • Did the number of check points drop in Damascus since few years?

  • How are you/your family coping with the fall of the Syrian pound and the rise of the prices.

  • Is it true that the quality of materials dropped, specifically that of shawarma?

arcticnaram454 karma

• not really • yes they have significantly • we're getting by it's very frustrating but we have food and a house so it's not that bad • yes!! Shawerma is now 400 sp instead of 700 sp

Yeamf93612 karma

Yo. I'm a girl and I live in Iran, and you've inspired me to do something similar to this. Sending love your way. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to live so close to war ... but, I do know how it's like living in a backwards thinking, oppressive, conservative, extremely religious society with people who have outdated ideas and refuse to change. Good luck with med school, and I admire your level-headedness to not want to "run away". You really don't wanna make things worse, just, do it the right way.

I guess I have no question... lol... except, maybe, YOU SAID YOU GUYS HAVE BARS??? How fucking lucky, man!

arcticnaram543 karma

Send bobs. But in a seriousness I hope you survive the shitty society and I support your AMA. Good luck to you in whatever path you choose. Yes we have bars, come over, my parents aren't home.

avedji584 karma

How long have you been in Syria? and also have you been to Hasakah? That's where I'm from!

arcticnaram709 karma

Well I lived the first 2 and a half years of my life in France and then Syria til now. I've never been but my mom is half from Der el Zor!

FlufyBacon521 karma

What can people in other countries do to help?

arcticnaram1424 karma

Not much really I don't think interference is the right choice. Just open up your visas please.

Nysen504 karma

How do you personally and how does the syrian people feel about the fact that foreign military forces forced the Syrian military to give up some of it's weapons?

arcticnaram1050 karma

I personally feel that foreign intervention is never for the own country's well-being. There's always some sort of agenda. But if it somehow ends up for the best, then I don't mind it at all. Syrian people are split 50/50 with very sharp opinions, they're either very supporting of it or extremely against it.

NervusNerv446 karma

Since you're Palestinian do you think Israel has the right to own " the holy land"( Jerusalem )? And do you hate Israelis?

arcticnaram2172 karma

I don't think they have the right, no. But am I against it? Also no. I think israelis will develop Palestine in ways Arabs cannot. I don't hate israelis or jewish people, I hate the unnecessary killing from either side. If it was up to me I would have both sides live there in peace instead of trying to kick each other out.


Hello! How is it looking outside of Damascus? Do you have communications with other cities and villages?

arcticnaram644 karma

Things are better for other cities rn and we can visit each other with almost no complications. Although there are some cities still under ISIS rule (like Der el Zor) and some that are mostly ruins but Lattakia, Tartous, Sweda, and Halab are very easy to reach and have the minimal damage after Damascus.

alex21112395 karma

Have you ever seen any of the ISIS fighters traveling and recruiting people near you?

To what extent they can persuade (force) people into joining combat. (Not necessarily now,can even be from a few months ago)

arcticnaram939 karma

No I've never seen ISIS because they can't reach the capital. I also don't think they can convince anyone. The extremists will go join on their own while normal people can't be persuaded into it. When it comes to ISIS you're either against them or fighting with them there's no in between

OdmupPet304 karma

I got two for you!

Seeing as you pretty wise for your age in relation to your answers on some matters.

1) How long were in you in France for and what was your experience like?

2) What's your experience with other religions/cultures where you live? Do you have friends of different faith? What's the common attitude towards these kinds of things?

arcticnaram1290 karma

Thank you! I am very smart as I watch rick and morty (see? I'm even up to date with memes) 1) I was there for the first 2 and half years of my life so I don't remember much (or anything tbh). But I have went back when I was like 13 and I've visited a lot of Europe and other countries. 2) I have friends of all faiths and sexualities and ideals. In the environment that I surrounded myself with, we accept and understand anything with no judgment (well we try). We've made a sort-of underground society. But if this reaches the common folk they'll have very edgy opinions and views against anyone different from them. See most people here are very very close-minded but they're not anywhere near my circle.

Cam8895301 karma

I'm kind of curious, can you explain how your English is so good? Did you go to an international-type school?

arcticnaram701 karma

I went to a private school and they taught british books. I also grew up watching movies and reading a lot so that's where it came from. I also have a good accent. Also all our schools (public or private) teach Arabic, English, and French.

sephstorm280 karma

What does most of Syria look like compared to before the war?

What was the war like for the civilians living in the country during all of this? Did you have to defend yourselves against forces from either/both sides, and were people able to do so successfully?

arcticnaram683 karma

Most of Syria is in ruins if I'm honest, and it officially looks like a war country as in you can't go two streets without there being a military block to inspect the cars and shit. Some civilians had to be armed and defend their houses, unfortunately most didn't survive while other civilians had to leave their houses (such as myself). I am lucky to be living in the capital Damascus where there's the minimal amount of trouble.

sephstorm154 karma

Thanks for your answer.

arcticnaram290 karma

No need, that's what I'm here for.

Hayden_Hank_1994251 karma

Have you ever smoked weed? How hard is it to find drugs and alcohol

arcticnaram610 karma

Hahahah I actually smoke regularly. It's extremely easy to get drugs. We have hash here (commonly) not marijuana but we can get almost everything. We have a lot of bars and a lot of alcohol shops. You can also get hard drugs if you know the right people (anywhere from salvia, xtc, to cocaine and lsd). Also pills are very commonly spread here and are the drug of choice such as xanax and tramadol and lyrica and captagon.

_wheatfield239 karma

What kind of gifts or experiences would make a Syrian family recently resettled in the US feel at home?

arcticnaram339 karma

First of all, you're wonderful. Second, we love our hummus and syrian food so there you go.

Suuntavilkku165 karma

So, uh... how is the weather over there?

arcticnaram230 karma

Actually perfect

I-nigma157 karma

Are there wild hamsters everywhere and are they as dumb as the pet?

arcticnaram319 karma

I have never once seen a wild hamster! If that's a thing I'm gonna find it or die trying.

Exoma134 karma

Iranian here. Do you love us or hate us? I can’t tell sometimes.

arcticnaram333 karma


Chrisolympian128 karma

When you read the news, how does it make you feel when countries like the US and other European nations bicker over providing refuge to Syrians fleeing for their lives?

arcticnaram422 karma

I'm sad that few countries want to help the refugees but I also understand where they're coming from so I can't really blame them.

MUWE34122 karma

Yo! My TV always said that our army really helps Syrian peoples at war and in civil live( i'm from Russia, so question about Russian Federation army). Is this real? Do RU forces helps at all in Syria?

arcticnaram110 karma

Russia helps their interests if I'm being honest. They'll help whoever benefits them the most. That goes for most countries too.

lopsidedmind105 karma

Hey, what do you think about Turkey? Have you ever thought about going there as a refugee?

arcticnaram241 karma

Honestly I'd rather stay in syria. I've visited Turkey a lot before and it is nice and all, just not for me.

udontno-sami91 karma

Can we be friends? You are so cool!!

arcticnaram227 karma

I'm trying really hard not to be an asshole during this AMA that's why I seem cool. Other than that let's be friends.

Reeanaistic86 karma

If Damascus is so safe, why don't the people from the ISIS infected areas migrate there instead of other countries?

How do you feel about the declining religious feelings of your generation?

arcticnaram236 karma

Damascus is not THAT safe plus we already have a lot of people from other cities that moved here to the capital. Our country is small so imagine the capital housing 10 mil people. I'm glad, I don't hate religion but it's always better when it doesn't interfere with politics or society.

codexsam9485 karma

How is the meme culture in Syria ? Do people know twitch ? Reddit ? How big is esports in Syria ?

arcticnaram336 karma

Memes are what keep us going

GigglyGoosh76 karma

Not sure if this was asked yet, but could you enlighten us on the social and everyday life (before and after the war) of the upper (socioeconomic) class, middle class, and lower class in Syria? Like, are there bowling alleys and concerts? Is public school still in session? Are there still towns and cities without destruction and rampant violence? Or is the whole country as devastated as it is portrayed in Western media?

I just read the rest of the thread so you can ignore my post above if you'd life as it is redundant.

Can you tell me about healthcare in Syria and your medical education?

arcticnaram133 karma

We have public hospitals that provide adequate enough healthcare, we don't have health insurance but doctor appointments and hospitals are not cheap but reasonably priced. In med school we learn way more information than it is necessary or practical compared to the west but that's just how it is.

zizzikka66 karma

Say a guy from lebanon decided he'd go on a road trip to turkey in his car through syria, would he reach there alive? Or is the country still in alot of confusion and chaos that it'll be a risky move?

arcticnaram145 karma

Risky because cities bordering turkey aren't safe enough.

Capnbaldy51 karma

Are there any charitable foundations that you feel do a great amount of work in the area? My new years resolution is to donate more often, and now I just need a place to do it!

arcticnaram275 karma

Don't donate to Syria, it'll never reach us. Donate to what you're passionate about!

K_S9643 karma

Fellow countryman here! It's quite rare to find a Syrian on reddit. Anyways, let's get to the question(s).

How's the nightlife scene nowadays? I know people are getting increasingly receptive to that lifestyle (especially millennials), but to what extent?

Also, back in the old days, my family and I used to go around Kass'aa during Christmas to see the decorations, but last time I was there (a couple years ago) the decorations were pretty much non-existent. You get the eerie thought that people were scared to be themselves and incapable of being happy. Which brings me to my question, how was Christmas this year?

P.S: It's been a while since I've been to Damascus. When I do visit, I'd love to hang out with you if you don't mind.

arcticnaram52 karma

The nightlife is the bomb rn, non stop parties and pretty much anything you want. Kass'aa is full of decorations, bab sharqi and shaalan too.Come visit,let's hang out.

JiveTurkey100036 karma

Have you been pressured in to fighting from either side?

arcticnaram134 karma

I don't have military service because I'm an only child so no.

Huddstang31 karma

From what little I know about Syria, prior to ‘the trouble’ it was a decent place to live right?

Do you foresee your countrymen that have been forced to leave wanting to return? My little town in England has taken in 50 families and while I have no problem with that, I wonder how long they’ll stay. That is to say, would they be more likely to return to a country that was pretty good previously?

arcticnaram83 karma

Syria before the war was a very good place to live in. Cheap prices, beautiful scenery, free schools and colleges. As I said before the ones who were forced to leave, I believe will come back. While others who left by choice, won't.

Scootermatsi28 karma

Your comments seem pretty chill (a good thing). What is the worst thing that you have personally witnessed/has actually occurred to you while living in the country?

arcticnaram94 karma

I saw corpses and had my house bombed so take your pick also I'm out of weed so that's up there.

Andrestor9326 karma

What's the closest you have come in contact with the war, if at all?

arcticnaram94 karma

House bombed, seeing corpses, fleeing from missles, ducking from bullets, the usual.

RibosomalTransferRNA16 karma

What's your opinion on homosexuality?

arcticnaram25 karma

Personal freedom

n3onis11 karma

What is life like over there? As in compared to first world countries.
Is it hard to obtain the basic needs, or is life not as bad as many of us would imagine?

arcticnaram38 karma

It's really not that bad. I'm doing everything I feel like doing and we can obtain almost anything. No shipping or online shopping though, so that sucks. The electricity and water shortage is something we got used to. The prices here are high considering the wages, but if you convert it to dollars, things are cheap as dirt.

runmeupmate4 karma

Why do you 'double oppressed' having been born in France?

arcticnaram22 karma

I meant double opressed as in Syrian and Palestinian, also it's a joke I don't really feel opressed. Being born in france was just a fun fact.

ManBearHybrid3 karma

Just being a resident of Syria makes you an oppressed person because their government is an oppressive regime.

arcticnaram19 karma

Trust me the government regime is way better than anything else (opression and all).


What do you think of all the cowards young males that leaved the country to Europe ?

arcticnaram9 karma

I don't think it's cowardly to not want to be forced to join the army and be sent to your death. Good on them if they're leading a productive life in Europe and not just living off of refugee benefits.