Observers often comment that the Syrian uprising has not reached Damascus. It is true that businesses and restaurants are open in central Damascus, that the traffic is as messy and congested as ever, that fashionable shopping malls bustle in the early evening with well-coiffed teenagers who descend from chauffeured luxury cars.
Unlike Homs, or Deir Ezzor, or Deraa, there are no tanks in the streets of Damascus, not even the ones painted patchy blue in a flimsy attempt to disguise the army as police. But the myth of Damascus’ sustained invincibility is just that – a myth. The signs of turmoil in the Syrian capital may be subtle, but they are nonetheless alarming.