Now I have come to the end of my 2009 tour of Syria it is time to consider the people who I came across. I have purposely concentrated on the Syria that I saw on the trip – fantastic history, fabulous architecture and wonderful people.
As I now often reflect on what has happened these past few long years, I lament at the destruction to the country’s crown jewels by the civil war and IS vandalism, the wanton bombing of the whole of Aleppo, the precise blowing up of irreplaceable parts of Palmyra, the collateral damage to Krak des Chevaliers and the norias of Hama.
As regrettable and upsetting as this is, it is nothing compared to the torment and suffering of so many innocent people. I often wonder what will have become of them. This is my pictorial tribute to the way they were, happy, smiling, kind and generous with their time.
To the hoteliers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, shopkeepers, waiters, restauranteurs, mechanics, children, boatmen, mums, dads, grandparents, train guards, tourist information officials, storytellers, policemen, housewives, waiters, immams, priests, security guards, museum curators, engine drivers, chefs and school teachers that I encountered, I salute you and hope that you may be well and at peace.