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Syria 2008 (a few images)
Old 05-05-2013   #1
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Syria 2008 (a few images)

I traveled in 2008 with my family to Damascus, Syria, and this morning I am looking at some of the shots that I took there. Life was calm in the streets, and the markets were filled with people and street chatter. I wonder what has become of these individuals that I can see in my photos. In this photo, there is a newly married couple (I guess) on the left side, and they are admiring the historic mosque. It showed me that photography is a powerful tool for the preservation of memories of things that may be gone now.

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Old 05-05-2013   #2
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A boy is running away from someone in a busy part of the old markets in Damascus. What has happened to this boy now? I wonder if at his young age he may now be one of the rebels or maybe he is dead or maybe he is still home, living his normal life.

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Old 05-05-2013   #3
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What is the fate of this young couple with their baby inside the bazar?
Such an image makes me think about such issues.
My own sister was taking refuge from the terror in Iraq by living in Damascus. Then she had to leave again.


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Old 05-05-2013   #4
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It seemed that life of ordinary Syrian people was rotating around the markets. The was buzzing life everywhere. I am glad that I got that chance to visit Damascus before the war time started.




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Old 05-05-2013   #5
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Just a few years ago, people with different faiths would pray/visit inside this mosque in Damascus. I wonder whether such ancient mosques have been spared or whether devastation is everywhere. I recall that Italian pilgrims would visit this mosque.




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Old 05-05-2013   #6
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Very good pictures, Raid. Too bad a good portion of this country has been destroyed by Western (and Qatari and Saudi) backed terrorists. I wish I had visited Syria myself, now all the chances are gone.
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Old 05-05-2013   #7
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Alexandru: Without getting into politics here, my wish is to discuss the role of photography in preserving memories of what is now gone. Most of the time during my stay I was inside an apartment with family members, and only on a couple of days I took a microbus to downtown Damascus to take photos. I am glad that I have done this.
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Old 05-05-2013   #8
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Thanks for sharing Raid
I have visited the Middle East in the 70's a number of times, and I often wonder what happened to all those beautiful, friendly and welcoming people. I remeber Lebanon being such a Jewel of a country that I literally cried at times when I saw what happened in their civil wars. It must be the same for Syria.

I need to go back and look at the photograpghs I took way back then.

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Old 05-05-2013   #9
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Raid, don't be upset at my bitter comment. It is bitter because I've seen crimes beyond imagination committed by the rebels. Otherwise, I didn't want to turn this topic into a political one. I'm looking at the pictures and I ask myself the very same questions you do.
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Old 05-05-2013   #10
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I am not upset, Alexandru, but I don't want a moderator to delete this thread.
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Old 05-05-2013   #11
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Thanks for sharing Raid
I have visited the Middle East in the 70's a number of times, and I often wonder what happened to all those beautiful, friendly and welcoming people. I remeber Lebanon being such a Jewel of a country that I literally cried at times when I saw what happened in their civil wars. It must be the same for Syria.

I need to go back and look at the photograpghs I took way back then.

Giorgio
Please post your old photos when you find them, Giorgio.
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Old 05-05-2013   #12
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Hi, nice shots, poor syria, my origins are from syria, my great-grand parents came from homs fleeing from turk opression...

After a century living here we can only look at that disaster with sorrow since hatred is declared...

MY father was a director of fearab during the 70īs and being a syrian living abroad he had to gather all arabs living in latinamerica and so he travelled for congresses and meetings in the whole arab world, very united by then...now after long years all has been shattered for the sake of intollerance...

bye.
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Old 05-05-2013   #13
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Raid, it would be easier to view the photos in this thread if they were all the same size as the initial photo which is 1024 pixels on the long side. I have to scroll the page side to side to view the photos you posted later which are 1280 pixels on the long side.
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Old 05-05-2013   #14
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I went back and have changed the file size of the posted images. I hope that it is better for you now.
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Old 05-05-2013   #15
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Lingerie was "big" at that time, and I even saw once a TV special in the USA about it (on Syria). President Assad's face was shown everywhere. People wanted peace of mind, it seems. Being a cheerleader helps.



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Old 05-05-2013   #16
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Dana and Lina looked scared. It was a new world for them.



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Old 05-05-2013   #17
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Quote:
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I went back and have changed the file size of the posted images. I hope that it is better for you now.
Its much easier to view them now. They bring back good memories. I'll have to dig up and post some of the photos I took of Christian Syrians celebrating Christmas 2009 in Bab Touma not far from where your shots were taken.
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Old 05-05-2013   #18
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Please post your photos here.
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Old 05-05-2013   #19
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My father's shots of Beirut in 6/53 (IIIf/50 elmar, K64, bad scan) give me similar sentiments.





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Old 05-05-2013   #20
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These are wonderful images from 60 years ago. They also can make you sad.
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Old 05-05-2013   #21
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Here's a few shots I could link quickly. I will have to search my hard drive to find the shots I mentioned earlier.


Straight Street in Old Damascus


Souq Al-Hamidiyah in Old Damascus


Restaurant in Old Damascus


Police escort waiting outside a church for a high flyer doing his Christmas greeting rounds in Bab Touma, Old Damascus


Me with some Syrian university students


Omayyad Mosque in Old Damascus


Grocer's shop in Souq Al-Hamidiyeh, Old Damascus


Brothers in Old Damascus


Bread shop in Straight Street, Old Damascus


Antique Shop in Old Damascus


Chapel of Saint Ananias in Bab Touma, Old Damascus


Al-Nawfara Coffee Shop in Old Damascus
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Old 05-05-2013   #22
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Thanks for starting this thread and sharing your beautiful photos, Raid. Although it makes it twice sad to watch the news... Both Damascus and Beirut are beautiful Mediterranean cities. It is crazy what is going on there right now...
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Old 05-05-2013   #23
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Thanks for posting your beautiful color images from Syria, Jon.
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Old 05-05-2013   #24
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Thank you for sharing.
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Old 05-05-2013   #25
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The words in pink say "We love you", if you use Syrian dialect of the Arabic language.
If you used Iraqi dialect, it would say "We don't love you". Isn't it ironic, considering how people from the same country are jointly blowing it up (with the help of others).


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Old 05-05-2013   #26
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Christians in Syria are devoted and they have their own villages where they lived in peace. Some of the oldest churches on earth exist in Syria. As a minority, they aligned themselves with those in power. This is often the case. I sensed a respect for Christians when I visited Damascus. Assad's poster (above) was on the wall of a home of Christians.
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Old 05-05-2013   #27
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Quote:
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Christians in Syria are devoted and they have their own villages where they lived in peace. Some of the oldest churches on earth exist in Syria. As a minority, they aligned themselves with those on power. This is often the case. I sensed a respect for Christians when I visited Damascus. Assad's poster (above) was on the wall of a home of Christians.

Since Alexander, Melkites have been the "King's men."

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Old 05-05-2013   #28
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As always, Raid, - love your travel pictures. I wish I had a chance to visit places like this, but at least I get to see them through your eyes/pictures. You know what that means - post MOREEEEE
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Old 05-05-2013   #29
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Thank you Krosya. I will post some more.

We walked through the Christian neighborhoods close to Bab Touma:

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Old 05-05-2013   #30
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I am not upset, Alexandru, but I don't want a moderator to delete this thread.
A moderator deleting this thread because we can't speak our thoughts on what is going on today would be like the editor at Magnum Photo saying to a PJ we can't show these photo's to the world, that we must ignore what is taking place in Syria. For one I'm a bit confused at what is taking place in Syria. I blame our western media.

BTW Raid these photo's are some of your best work.
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Old 05-05-2013   #31
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Thanks.
Here is another image of someone's home in the Christian neighborhood. His name is Anton Laboos.

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Old 05-05-2013   #32
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The ancient island of Arwad (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arwad)
I took a boat from Latakia to Arwad.




Boat building:



Graffiti:


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Old 05-05-2013   #33
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Children can get sacrificed in the name of religion during political wars.

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Old 05-05-2013   #34
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This man is originally from Lybia. He studied for a while at some college in Canada, and then he worked in Iraq. He escaped from Iraq to work in Syria. All he has left is his daughter. His job was selling Kebab. Who knows where is now with his cute daughter.


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Old 05-05-2013   #35
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I used a Graflex XLSW on a table tripod here inside the mosque. It supposedly houses the head of John the Baptist and the grave of Salladin.


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Old 05-05-2013   #36
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In times of war, there is no respect for history and the ancient remains that are scattered in Syria.

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Old 05-05-2013   #37
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I'm sorry but I don't quite get this thread. I probably wish the pictures would speak more by themselves.
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Old 05-05-2013   #38
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A moderator deleting this thread because we can't speak our thoughts on what is going on today would be like the editor at Magnum Photo saying to a PJ we can't show these photo's to the world, that we must ignore what is taking place in Syria. For one I'm a bit confused at what is taking place in Syria. I blame our western media.

BTW Raid these photo's are some of your best work.
it's not the images it's the words...rff is a non political forum...it is a photo forum...images can be controversial and that's ok...but politics can cause a great conflagration and that is not what we do here.

the thread as is is fine...
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Old 05-05-2013   #39
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This is what I also meant to say. It is the words that can get inflamed.
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Old 05-05-2013   #40
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I'm sorry but I don't quite get this thread. I probably wish the pictures would speak more by themselves.
Hi Clint,
I was thinking of my trip to Syria in 2008, and I was thinking about the events there these days. Places I have seen then may not look the same way anymore. If this thread bothers you somehow, don't feel you have to see it.
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