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-   -   Travellers bike stolen in Damascus Syria (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/middle-east/travellers-bike-stolen-damascus-syria-47927)

mika 23 Jan 2010 12:26

Travellers bike stolen in Damascus Syria
2 Attachment(s)
Damascus / Syria


Hello all,

Mustahil means impossible in Arabic.

This is the word I hear from every local that knows about my story of yesterday. My bike, the 750 Tenere, got stolen outside the hotel Alrabie here in the city center of Damascus. In the hours of the early morning a group of five thieves broke the locks and one of them rode away with the bike.

I would have said myself, it is impossible that something like this happens in Syria. But you learn every day. A camera from a shop nearby filmed the incident, but I have not seen the video yet.

The police is working on the case, I have the help of the German embassy and from some local friends. But I have problems getting the media involved, as no bad news can be broadcasted. Also a big problem is, that I do not speak Arabic and most people do not speak anything else.

Anyone seen the bike since yesterday? Do you have any very good contacts with Syrian TV? Some newspapers said, maybe they publish the story on Sunday, inshalla.

I want to have the bike back.

Contact me over Email, or in the Hotel Alrabie, Saruja - Bahsa St. Damascus - Syria, Hotel Tel. 00 963 11 231 83 74, I will get a cell phone tomorrow, if you can help.

The photos are taken in Germany.

Greetings and a happy new year

xrnik 24 Jan 2010 23:03

I am really sorry for you... was there that period last year and everything seemed calm and peaceful. Things may changed from then... I am sure you will find your bike. Maybe not so easy but you will. They can't ride a big bike in Syria. So it's almost useless for them. Don't worry, I think everything will go well...

Knight of the Holy Graal 27 Jan 2010 08:16

I'm sorry for the loss of your bike, Mika, also because I visited Syria astride my motorcycle in 2008 and I can figure out your surprise and disappointment.

I'm sure that the problem will be solved, though. Keep us updated.

mika 29 Jan 2010 12:38

Damascus / Syria
1 Attachment(s)
This is not an easy place to get your bike stolen.

In the early hours of thursday morning (3.45 am, 21.01.2010) a group of five thieves arrived in a grey KIA, at a nearby intersection. Two went to the bike, that was parked outside of the Hotel Alrabie. One of them (see picture below) is an expert on bikes, he broke the locks and started the bike in only three minutes. He turned the bike around. Falling off after a few meters, picking the bike up and riding it away.

There are no big bikes in Damaskus, as they are not allowed. The thief has experience riding a big bike and breaking the locks. Maybe he is not from Syria, maybe he is from Lebanon.

Anyway there is no market here to sell the bike, or the parts. But there is in Lebanon.

So far, all the media people (I dont want to call them journalists) I talked to, cant or dont want to do publish anything. It is depressing, because nobody tells you the truth.

The police is no help at all, even the German embassy put a lot of pressure on them.

I could find an expert to edit the video (which is bad quality) and we could get a picture of the thief. See below.

A German friend is here now, with his bike. And we plan to go twoup to Lebanon for a few days.

I would need contacts in Lebanon, Bike clubs etc.


motoreiter 29 Jan 2010 13:08


I'm very sorry about the loss of your bike, but I'm not sure why you're surprised that the police don't care--despite German embassy "pressure"--it would be little different in most countries as far as I know...

And the "picture" is not particularly helpful--more than anything else it looks like a cartoon drawing of someone's grandmother, and I can't see how it would be helpful to anyone.

I appreciate your efforts to get the bike back, and wish you the best of luck, but I would not get your hopes up...

mika 29 Jan 2010 13:49

@ motoreiter

thank you for your reply and your statement.

have you ever been in Syria more than a few days?

there is more police (and people working together with similar services) here than in most countries (compare to the population). and in general Syria is a save country for travellers. this has not happened to a traveller here before, so I expected the police to do it more, as they promised.

But you are right I should not be surprised that all this huge police force does not get any info about the bike from their bosses. And that the police unit working on the case does not do much.

as there are no big bikes here, and the thief is a professional, I would say even a picture like this could help. anyway I dont have a better one right now.

In any other country I could just buy advertising space and publish the picture of the bike, but not in Syria.

I would appreciate you send me only PM and not post here again, because I dont need people telling me to give up.


palace15 29 Jan 2010 19:35

Don't give up mika, or be desponded by any negative comments, everyone hopes that your bike will 'turn-up' with little or no damage.
Good luck

El Aleman - Jens 29 Jan 2010 19:45

Hey Mika, I am so sorry for you!
Hey Mika,

it sounds unbelievable! How could this happen???

I hope you will get it back, I would spend at least 2 more weeks in the city, maybe you can buy it back for a reasonable price...sounds stupid I know, but I heard similar stories before...

Good luck! See you at the HU Germany or Italy Meeting!

Jens from Worms/ Germany

Rinus 30 Jan 2010 11:23

Hi Mika,

When I stayed in Damascus last year, I stayed at camping 'new kaboun'.
And dispite of what has been said here, there are big bike's in Syria.
I,ve seen them myself.
If you come out of the camping and go right and take a left, somewhere along that road (sorry I don't know exactly wich one) there is a sort of bike shop and they had 'big bikes'.
The man from the camping is a nice guy and I'm sure he help you find it if you asked.
It's a long shot but it may be worth a visit.

mika 31 Jan 2010 14:55

new picture
1 Attachment(s)
@ Rinus

Thank you for your reply. I stayed at New Kaboun Camping before I moved into town. Yes, the owner is very nice. I will do a run on Wednesday to some bike shops and mechanics outside of Damascus. Good idea, I will go to the Camping again and talk to the owner. Maybe he has an idea.

Anybody contact in Lebanon? Bike shops? Mechanics? Bike clubs?

The computer expert got a better picture out of the video. This is it.


Camel 1 Feb 2010 11:41

Lebanon contact details.
Hi Mika

Contact details sent to you private email, I'll try to get some more.:thumbup1:

mika 2 Feb 2010 11:20

you tube video
my friend Jan Neumann, who is here in Damascus at the moment on his SuperTenere, made a youtube video about my bike getting stolen ....

YouTube - Mikas Bike_0002.asf

have a look, and send it to all your biker friends in Lebanon and around the world.

maybe if someone could post a link to the video on facebook Lebanon Motorcycle Club. Thank you.


chris 2 Feb 2010 12:17

Hi Mika
As already written via email, so sorry to hear about your bike being stolen. On the video at about 1 min 30 sec, are those big flashes of light from cutting equipement? If they are, the theives must have been very organised!

My aunt works at the US embassy in Beirut. Will send her a mail now.

Good luck

mika 3 Feb 2010 12:40

Viggo Normann
Hello again,

I would need the email address/ contact details of a Norwegian bike traveller

his name is

Viggo Normann,

he is born in 1984, and he stayed here in Damascus around 06.01. to 07.01.2010

does anybody know him?


I think the flashes you see are from the headlight of the bike, but I dont know how the broke the steering lock.

Mika from Damascus

nico-la-vo 3 Feb 2010 14:16

Mika, really sorry to read this. Every travellers worst nightmare to wake up and find the bike gone, you must have been shell-shocked. I hope it turns up for you.

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