For many years I've been in search for the original rose and ancient rose varieties. I've been really disappointed with some of the varieties that are out now, they are thornless and have no smell (a rose with no smell? gross) and don't remind me of the roses that I grew up seeing in my community in South Central Los Angeles. As a little girl, I can remember trying to touch a red rose and falling over into the rose bush...I cried for a whole hour after coming in contact with thoese thorns lol. Little did I know that in the future most of the roses being sold in store but would modified to the point that they don't seem like roses anymore. Sigh... 

   The other day, I went to the Getty Villa and was greeted by a long of Beautiful Damask roses. Damask are ancient roses that come from the Country of Syria and are named after the city Damacus. All over the Middle East and North Africa, the Damask roses are used in oil, skincare products, rosewater, soap, perfume and culinary delights. So you can imagine my joy when I came face to face with such royal flower. I leaned in and took a whiff and it smelled like nothing I've said ever smelled before, like lemon rose candy. In the midst of my delight, the landscaper came with a big garbage bag full of roses that he pruned and offered me a bag full of buds and petals.!!! I was able to secure a few clippings to grow my own rosebush (more details on that later). 

  Once I got back home and surveyed my spoils of the day, a dark cloud came over me and I had a gloomy feeling came over to me. At this very moment, women and children in Syria (who didn't make it out or couldn't) are stuck in dire circumstances suffering. A country that nurtured such a beautiful or magnificent flower is in turmoil, and it saddens me. Often times, many of us don't take the time to reflect on people who live in places that give us such treasures, we take things for granted when we go to stores to pick up Argan oil, Shea butter, fabrics, furniture, spices.. etc etc.. Some many of us go about our lives without even a second thought about the people who cultivate, build, pick, farm etc..  

  My heart goes out to the women and children of Syria, I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Just like the rose, you have the strength to thrive in the harshest of conditions and still bloom. The rose fight for its survival and is know to grown in some of the harshest conditions, It puts out It's thrones to defend It's self and ensure It's own survival. The resilience of the Rose reflects the resilience of the women and children in Syrian.

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