Beit Jabri
Decades of memories enclosed!
It's a story of a dream coming true!..

This house was established on 1737. But our family story was engaged with it when my grandfather Mohamed Tallat son of Noaman Agha Jabri bought this house from Mr. Darwish Afandi, the father of Shafik Jabri, who is known till now as the poet of Al-Sham.

My family generations have lived in this house for decades, since 1905. In this worm large place, we had the most precious times and memories, as a family.

But on 1977, the Place became so large and old to be served by the women of the family. So, my paternal aunts were obliged to leave the house as they were too old to take care of it. The time passed away, and the house was abandoned for years.

Cracks started to chap the walls. Dust sneaked into the precious arabesques, and the house, which was once a joyful family house, became an old grey deserted place.

One day a man decided to exploit the old house, which had become a big workshop of carpentry and smith craft and a storehouse of cereals. But the heirs were too many to agree on whether or how to restore and invest it.

Unfortunately, I was still young then, and had neither the solutions nor the possibilities to do anything to the wonderful house.

Sorrow and pain were my share; I'm passionate about this house, It's the beloved space, in which I've spent my childhood happiest years. Memories are still there, hanging over the bitter orange branches, sneaking through the windows and swinging with the climbing jasmine.
My dream of reviving it has never left me since that time!. I have always wanted to do something, to save this beautiful designs and antiques which have dazzled all its viewers. Then, the idea sparked in me!.. Transforming it into a restaurant was the best solution, to get the revenues needed to cover restoration work.
In addition, It was a great chance to bring back life to the deserted place, by allowing people to re-enjoy it's welcoming spirit and to feet it's charm.

But also I wanted to keep the simplicity of the original house ambience, so I kept it as simple as it is!.. No additional complications or extra decorations.. A place that grants it's visitors and guests the simple peaceful feeling of being in an old oriental Damascene house, not in a restaurant!.

It was a long difficult journey till my dream became true!

Heirs scattered all over the world, reaching, discussing and convincing them with the project was a hard tasks! And sometimes an impossible mission.

Finally, I started gradually the restoration work. I welcomed the closest friends as visitors.

And that was the first step in financing my dreams project!. My friends spread the address out. We promoted the project through the simple word of mouth. People started talking about it, and by time, crowds came to enjoy the fountain and the fresh scented breeze.

In Addition, I insisted on presenting traditional and delicious plates known to the Damascene well-loved kitchen.

The Quarter neighbors were surprised with this new action. They could not understand or guess why strangers come into the old house every night. Therefore, they filed a complaint to Damascus Governorate, which closed the house and sealed it with red was.

I had this troubles several times, but my determination and faith gave me enough strength to go on!. Consequently, the neighbors and the governorate officers started to respond, and even to like the house!

My precious dream held other dreams within it. I opened one of the halls for contemporary Plastic Arts Exhibitions. I Also spread a cultural mission by holding seminars, poetical and classical music evenings. And I am planning to start a bookshop for buying and selling used books, especially Islamic Arab Intellectual Heritage books.

The face is that, I don't know how much we are really in need for these wonderful Damascene houses, nor how these exceptional places are actually in need for us!. But I know that this house has given me the inspiration, passion and determination to accomplish a beautiful dream.
It's my grandfather's after all!..

Today it's yours dear visitors!. Let's share its original breeze!

Raed Jabri