Syria: a sad story

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August 17th 2015
Published: August 17th 2015
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Aleppo, Palmyra and Damascus

One of the journeys that marked my life was a 2004 three week holiday to the Middle East. It was my first time outside of Europe, and it turned out to be an amazing journey full of adventures. The fact that most places I visited do not exist anymore, makes me value my experience even more. Today Syria is facing one of its most difficult times, and perhaps this story can give some insight into the background of the current conflict.

The day I entered Syria I noticed its distinct vibe. I did expect it to be culturally different from the places I had visited before, but not to such an extent. The border post, a large concrete building, was crowded with people without no order whatsoever, you literally had to fight your way to get the entry stamp. When I finally got it, I had to go back to the vast improvised parking lot where I realized my bus was not there anymore, it didnĀ“t go through. All of us foreigners, a small group of 8 or so, were placed into one bus that went all the way to Aleppo. I realized we had a special status, locals were checked and supervised while we were not. Even at that time there were almost no tourists, which made me feel special.

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