The city now feels pregnant with rage, and ready to explode.
Anti-regime graffiti are scribbled on the walls in almost every neighborhood. At night, the sound of shelling in nearby suburbs that have fallen under rebel control echoes through the streets, disturbing the sleep of rich and poor alike. Flying — or tayara — protests, in which small groups stage sudden and swift demonstrations, are increasing even in some of the more upmarket neighborhoods of the city. And recent strikes by merchants of the renowned Damascus souks have eroded perceptions that they still support the government.