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Couchsurfing for Americans in Syria

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Couchsurfing for Americans difficult in Syria

After sending out dozens upon dozens of couchsurfing requests in Syria and turning up very few wiling hosts, it seems apparent that Americans have a difficult time finding couches here. The reason is simple: if the police catch Syrians with Americans in their homes there could be problems. Couchsurfing is a risky activity for Syrian nationals as it is, and hosting people from the “enemy nation” often places the hosts in a very precarious circumstance.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Damascus, Syria- April 20, 2009
Travelogue Travel Photos –Travel Guide
Click on map to view route of travel.

All other nationalities seem to be able to interact with Syrians in the domestic setting and couchsurf without as much difficulty as Americans, and many prospective hosts have written to me saying that they could not host me because of my country of origin.

These are just a few of the rejection emails that I received from otherwise willing Couchsurfing hosts:

“Hi Wade,
I’m sorry, but I had some troubles after the only time
I hosted American people : as a foreigner, the syrian
police checks everything I do and everyone I meet, and
they seem not to be very glad when a resident foreigner
meets people from the enemy nation.”

“hay Hanna,

First of all, you are most welcome to syria, and hope
you are gonna enjoy your time in Syria

sorry to tell that i can’t host you for the follwing
reason :

that you are Americans and that your boyfriend is a
journalist… (hope for your understanding) because
those facts could cause me problems wiht the syrian
police.

if that couldn’t happen, i would be so pleased to host
you because i don’t care from which country you are”

I have the feeling that these emails were the only ones that explained the full reason why 90% of mine and Chaya’s Couchsurfing requests in Syria came back negative. I must say I understand. There is a certain air of terseness in Syria, secret police are rampant, and the people know that they are being watched.

Couchsurfing for Americans difficult in Syria

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Filed under: Middle East, Syria

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap

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