Internet, Mailing, and Books in Syria
As far as I know, there are two options for dial-up in Syria: SCS (Syrian Computer Society) and dial-up from your local phone company. I recommend SCS because you can use a POP account and IP address, so you can use chat programs. ADSL is also available, but I heard it was quite expensive. There are plenty of net cafes around as well.
There are various places you can get a PO box. I know that AMIDEAST offers mail services to foreign students. I have heard, however, that it takes a long time for mail to arrive. I had a box in the US Embassy thanks to my grant.
If you are interested in buying books, Beirut is a good bet. There are various western-type bookstores and a huge Virgin Records store that houses a large book section. I love walking around Bliss street in Beirut checking out the bookstores. AUC in Cairo is good also. Syria offers good books for those interested in Arabic literature, but not much for speakers of other languages.