I kid you not. The title above is the name of a restaurant, 35 km northeast of Tartous. If you think that the owner is out of his mind, think twice. First, you’d better take a look at the imbedded video. I think you will agree that the name is very appropriate.
They were three, a cynic, an historian and a blogger. Their schedules agreed that they were all free for the afternoon. A little bit after 2:00PM, and after an exhilarating 40 minute drive, they reached their destination- Paradise As Far As The Eye Can See (Jannat 3a Mad El-Nazar). It was sweltering hot in Tartous but once they took their seats at the 600 meter (~1970 ft) altitude shivers ran through their backs. They’d better get to the business at hand without hesitation. A great, simple, fresh, delicious Mezza was immediately served along with a full bottle of home-made Arak (the best they’ve had in years).
After a couple of rounds of the magical elixir (made of refreshing aniseed and white grapes) and tiny bites from salads and appetizers, the cynic asked the other two if they’ve read the “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. It turned out that all three of them were just about halfway through. For the next 4 hours (the time it took them to consummate their lunch and their bottle), they discussed the read part of the novel. They all agreed that it doesn’t matter how it ends. They didn’t even consider discussing the fictional part.
The cynic’s line of thought was that indeed not only the church but all “organized” religions had and continue to suppress information and mislead people. The historian wholeheartedly believed that the Knights Templar had hid the Sangreal documents (the Holy Grail) in the dungeon of the old city of Tartous during their lengthy stay there before moving their treasure to France in the early 1300s. He even substantiated his claim with a myriad of sources after his lifelong obsession (and knowledge) of the history of Tartous. The blogger interjected here and there, rightfully claiming that there is absolutely no contradiction between believing in the one and only God while knowing only too well that men of the cloth (of all colors and shapes) have been screwing humanity since the earliest advent of Religion.
Next time this blogger posts, he will write about the holy month of Ramadan in Tartous. This average person, among many others, had never believed that there is any contradiction as far as his spiritual life is concerned.
To reach Paradise, As Far As The Eye Can See, please follow the directions at the end of my post The Little Village of Kamsieh. Once you get there, the easiest way to find the restaurant is to keep asking locals for the next 5 km. Don't worry, you'll get there.