No, Damascus no longer conjures running water. The garden districts along Mt. Qassioun now line a narrower and dirtier version of the LA river. “The Barada” today conjures a watery brand of Syrian beer and the green flowing stench of a former lifeline. A photo of the now-extinct Victoria Bridge in the 1870s, over the once-flowing river. Today Sharia Shukri al-Quwatli, a “broad avenue,” runs over what is left of this section of the Barada. From the website of the honorary consulate of Syria in Toronto.