Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Damascus Coffee Shops Retain Traditional Charm

Despite the opening of western-style cafes in Damascus, the old coffee shops are still a favoured destination for those interested in the traditions of the old city.
By IWPR

The Nawfara café, the oldest in Damascus, teems every night with people who come to listen to Abu Shadi, the storyteller. He recites the tales of historic heroes whose sagas adorn the café’s walls.

The 100-year-old cafe has been a meeting place for revolutionaries, writers, critics and intellectuals in addition to the neighbourhood’s elderly. It also attracts foreign tourists.


This multimedia piece was produced during an IWPR workshop for young Syrian journalists held in Beirut, October 2009.

Trainer: Don Duncan
Editor: Raed Rafei
Project manager: Susanne Fischer

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