About 9 hours into my flight from Singapore to Istanbul I turned on the flight info map. As the map views flipped between the whole world, one hemisphere and the region I noticed two city names on the map: Homs and Aleppo. Two cities I would know nothing about if it weren’t for listening to the BBC World Service in the mornings while driving the kids to school and my wife to work. Two cities which are locked in their, what is it now? Third year of a brutal civil war?
After landing in Istanbul I decide to take advantage of the long stop over and head into town. I visited I The Blue Mosque, The Grand Bazaar and The Basilica Cistern. Then I spent two hours in Hagia Sofia, my favourite building, even with the scaffolding it’s still one of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth. I also spent 40 minutes or so just sitting on the carpeted floor of The New Mosque, which I think is the most beautiful of the Imperial Mosques and an amazingly peaceful place.
Now I’m back in the airport waiting for my flight to Tel Aviv, in which I will fly right by the hell that is Syria, Homs and Aleppo suffering another day of civil war.