Damascus, Syria, Nov 2005:  Damascene refers to someone from Damascus- (alternatively it could be read as ‘Damascus Scenes’)- hence the title of this video. I was fortunate enough to visit Damascus in a relative time of peace- but in a matter of years the country would be torn apart, into a war  that does not seem […]

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Border Country

Turkey/Syria, Nov 2005: Hatay– Turkey’s southernmost province- has changed dramatically since my visit to the area in late 2005. Near the border town of Reyhanli there is a huge refugee camp for the thousands of Syrian’s who have managed to escape over the nearby border to safety- and other camps scattered throughout the province. Locals […]

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The Hejaz Railway – part 1

Syria, November 2005:  When I learnt that the Hejaz Railway was actually still operational, I knew I had to ride it. I’d always admired David Lean’s classic 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia”-and to actually ride the rails that T.E.Lawrence and his band of Arab rebels had so successfully attacked and destroyed- well it just had to […]

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Aleppo, Syria, November 2005:  With the escalating conflict in Syria spreading to the country’s largest city, Aleppo, it’s about time I made a post about this ancient city. Also, over the coming weeks and months I will be publishing more images and stories from the Middle East in general, as it continues to fracture and […]

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Damascus, Syria, November 2005:  With the escalating crisis in Syria and it’s spiral into civil war, it’s about time I posted some more images from Syria in 2005… Of the seven countries I visited in my late 2005 Athens to Cairo overland trip- over half are now going through dramatic changes… Lebanon was once again […]

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Krak des Chevaliers

Krak des Chevaliers, Syria, 2005:  A farmer walks his cows past the imposing walls of the 1000 year old Krak des Chevaliers. The castle, originally built in 1031 for the emir of Aleppo, became one of the most strategic fortresses of the Crusades by controlling the road to the Mediterranean.  In 2006 Krak des Chevaliers […]

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Tartus, Syria, 2005:  The French legacy in Syria is still apparent 60 odd years later…  France occupied Syria and Lebanon between the First and Second World Wars, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. French is still widely spoken in the region, particularly in Lebanon. I think La Vieille means “old woman” -or just old. The […]

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Tartus, Syria, 2005: A rusted mural of the al-Assad’s adorns a wall of an old mill in the seaside town of Tartus.  The al-Assad dynasty of father dictator, Hafez (president 1971-2000); eldest son Basil, (groomed as successor- but killed in a car accident in 1994): and youngest son (and current dictator) Bashar, are also known […]

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