A Night With Damascus’ Prostitutes

Dispatches from the front.
June 13 2014 12:14 PM

The Tragic Lives of Damascus Prostitutes

For many women, it’s the only way to survive. 

BB War Series.
Deborah Amos, NPR's Middle East correspondent and the author of Eclipse of the Sunnis, and Steve Hindy, founder of Brooklyn Brewery and a former Associated Press foreign correspondent.

Still from final installment of Brooklyn Brewery war series.

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this first installment, Steve Hindy, founder of Brooklyn Brewery and a former Associated Press foreign correspondent, sits down with Deborah Amos, NPR's Middle East correspondent and the author of Eclipse of the Sunnis. See earlier segments here.

After a year of working sources and forging relationships, Amos was finally able to pull back the curtain on the increasingly pervasive prostitution scene in Damascus. In the clip above, she recounts a particularly dodgy evening spent embedded with a group of prostitutes in a Damascus nightclub, during which she gained new appreciation for their courage. Amos also talks about prostitution in Damascus in general, which, she says, is the only means left for many women in Syria to provide for their families.​

On June 17, Brooklyn Brewery will host the second installment of its war correspondents series. This month's guest is journalist Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East and veteran of conflicts in the Middle East as well as in Chechnya, Bosnia, Sudan, and El Salvador. Anderson will be interviewed by brewery co-founder Steve Hindy, and proceeds from the event will benefit RISC.

A.J. McCarthy is a Slate Video blogger.

Ayana Morali is the executive producer of Slate Video.