Images Of Syria That Will Change Your Perspective

Officially known as the Syrian Arab Republic, this once fertile country was home to countless and irreplaceable artifacts and beautiful examples of classic Arab architecture. Damascus, Syria’s capital city, was once known as “The City Of Jasmine”. Syria was home to the bronze age, the oldest written alphabet and a vast Arab cultural revival in the 19th century. Today, Damascus and Aleppo look entirely different but instead of bombarding you with more horrific images, we’ve compiled a list of 40 that will completely change your perspective.

Family Time

Over fifty years ago, photographer Charles W. Cushman, an avid traveler and amateur photojournalist, explored Syria on his own and captured these stunning images. The picture below is one example from his series on the far east. You can see how the Syria of old was more peaceful and allowed for normal everyday family activities. This father and his two children are chatting with a more traditionally dressed neighbor and observing the daily activities of the neighborhood. What a drastic change from the Syria we see today in the media.

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Carefree Days

There is a great deal of emphasis placed on the family in Syria and children are the crowning glory. In 1960, the birthrate in Syria was an amazing 7.47 children per woman, a number on par with the averages of other countries in the area. The last recorded statistic places the birthrate at 3 children per woman. Due to the civil war in Syria, thousands of families have been displaced but at least in this image we can still see a few smiley faces!

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1950’s Syria

How beautiful are these women in their classic 1950’s apparel? It’s very likely that each dress was handmade and individualized for each woman. Syria’s once liberal stance on fashion and the female form has been replaced with a new order and this would never happen today. Under the ever watchful eye of ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups, women are subject to harsh restrictions on behavior and dress. Countries like Syria, Afghanistan, and even Iran were once quite open and liberal!

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TV Archives

This is one of the only surviving images of TV host Nadia Ghazzi and Syrian poet Aziza Haroun from a television broadcast in 1960. Crates and crates of TV stills was destroyed by airstrikes and bombings when the building they were stored in was destroyed in recent fighting. Thousands of talk shows and interviews, song recordings, and television dramas were recorded over a period of eighteen years. These recordings gave a glimpse into the pop culture of Syria in the 1960’s.

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Miss Syria

Miss Syria 1952 has fallen between the pages of history and is now not much more than a beautiful face. Miss Arab World , Miss Universe, and Miss Syria have all been featured in the country over the years to varying degrees. In 1965, the first ever representative for Syria in the Miss World competition was Raymonde Doucco. Not many images exist from this time unfortunately but in the last few years leading up to Syria’s civil conflict there are plenty of images of contestants.

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The Princess

Amal al-Atrash is better known by her stage name Asmahan. This Syrian actress and singer immigrated to Egypt with her family at the tender age of three. Born into a Syrian Druze family, her father once served as governor for the Demirci District in Turkey. She rose to fame thanks to her beautiful voice and partnership with another famous performer, Farid al-Atrash, who just happened to also be her brother.  She died in a tragic and mysterious car accident in July of 1944.

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Folk Dance

This dancing troupe is seen performing a traditional “rakes” in honor of the Syrian President. Sufi Dervish dancers are unforgettable to watch. Their mystifying and constant movement is sure to take your breath away. The Mevlevi Sufi Order has been active in Syria for centuries and their spiritual and artistic practices are intricately woven into the  local culture. A medieval Sufi school for whirling dervishes was once located at Tekkiya Suleymaniye in the heart of Damascus. Many of Syria’s Sufi Dervishes have since fled the country for their safety.

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Vintage Tours

This vintage postcard showcases the glittering coastal plains of Syria that once brought tens of thousands to the middle eastern country.  The coastal city of Latakia was once a vacation hot spot for visitors from around the world. Artist Julien Lacaze was a visual artist born in 1886 who has a stunning portfolio of modern drawings. Most of his work focuses on landscapes and tropical locales. You can purchase his works at auction and have a bit of vintage Syria for your home office.

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Ancient Archway

This is an old photo of the entrance to one of the oldest boroughs in the Old City of Damascus. The Bab Tuma, or Gate of Thomas, is just one of seven entrances to the historic neighborhood.  Early Christian missionaries made the area theirs due to it’s importance in the early recordings of the Bible. Inside the walls of the ancient city you can find churches and places of worship for several Christian denominations including Armenian Catholic, Evangelical and Chaldean Catholic.

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Syria once had a bustling tourist industry and hopes to reclaim it if and when the country returns to peace. The juxtaposition in this image between traditionally and heavily garbed Muslim women and a group of foreign tourists is breathtaking. The women are simply doing their daily shopping while the group behind them visits a perfumer. According to UNESCO, prior to 2011 about 6 million foreign tourists visited the country in 2009 alone. The tourism industry once accounted for 12 percent of the gross domestic product of the country.


The Citadel

The Grand Citadel of Aleppo can be found in the center of the old city of Aleppo. Surrounded by a 22 meter deep and 30 meter wide moat, the citadel was one of the most highly fortified buildings in the area for thousands of years. At one time, the mound that the citadel sits on was covered in massive blocks of limestone that made it nearly impossible to scale it’s walls.  Prior to the Syrian civil war, the building and it’s surrounding land was a major tourist attraction and archaeological site.


Lawrence Of Arabia

During World War One, the combined forces of the British and Arab forces captured Damascus from the Turks and Lawrence Of Arabia led the charge. This legendary British soldier spent countless years working in Egypt as an intelligence officer in the area. Lawrence had hoped that the whole area would be united as a single nation but his dreams were dashed when Arabian factionalism came to the fore. After the war ended, Lawrence died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1935.

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Aleppo Souk

Outside of Aleppo, the first domesticated animals and agricultural lands were settled, laying the ground work for the city to become a center of on the first great trade routes. Warehouses in Aleppo were once filled to the brim with exotic spices, richly scented soaps, and precious metals and ceramics. This rare image of the Aleppo Souk is one of the few surviving prints from the heyday of the spice route. As a trading city, Aleppo was full of diverse communities but despite this there was relative calm and peaceful coexistence.


Hustle And Bustle

Life in the big cities and even small villages of Syria was always full and busy. From daily deliveries of local produce and livestock in the popular outdoor markets to pilgrims just on their way, Syria was alive with people. Young and old alike found their way to the street to meet friends, share gossip, and of course trade items for profit. In the image below you can see locals going about their daily business all under the watchful eye of the minaret of a local mosque.

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Castle Of The Kurds

The Castle of the Kurds, also known as Krak des Chevaliers, is an ancient Crusader Castle and one of the most important medieval castles in the world. At its peak this castle hosted a Hospitaller garrison of 2,000 men. In the late 19th century, long after the castle was no longer serving its original purpose, it was home to a settlement of 500 individuals who were moved when the castle was given over to the French state. The castle is about 40 km outside the city of Hom near Syria’s border with Lebanon.

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Damascus Sword Monument

This magnificent sword monument is found in the Umayyad Square in the middle of downtown Damascus. The square takes its name from the Umayyad Caliphate, the second of the four major Arab caliphates after the death of the prophet Muhammad. Syria was the center of the Umayyads’ power and Damascus their capital city. Umayyad Square is also home to the Al-Assad National Library, and the Damascus opera house complex.  The Sword monument is just one of the remarkable structures damaged by mortar shelling during the last few years of internal conflict.

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Citadel Of Salah Ed-Din

Located in the mountainous region of north western Syria and surrounded by forests, you can understand why this site has been fortified since the mid 10th century. The citadel changed hands several times and fell under the control of Saladin after a three day siege in 1188. The Mamluks gained control later on and fought off a siege in 1287. The Citadel was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006 due to its incredible preservation and value during the crusades.

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Aleppo Cuisine

Syrian Cuisine is truly a fusion of tastes and civilizations! Arab, Turkish, Persian and Lebanese flavors can be found in the kitchens of Syria. Traditional dishes worth sampling include kebab halabi, meat kebabs specific to Aleppo, and fresh labneh cheese. Syrians often serve a wide array of appetizers before the main course, ‘meze’ as it is often known, will wet your appetite for more. Fresh baked flat breads are ever present at a Syrian table, and are perfect for sharing with loved ones at the table.

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Umayyad Mosque

The Umayyad Mosque once drew thousands of faithfuls to Umayyad Square in the center of Damascus. It’s also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus and one glimpse inside will explain why. Its rich carpeted halls, stunning glass work and adjoining garden are breathtaking. It is considered by some Muslims to be the fourth holiest place in Islam and the place Jesus will return to at the End of Days. This mosque is also unique as it has remained larger unchanged since its construction in the early 8th century.

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Al Madina Souq

The Al-Madina Souq is located inside the walled ancient city of Aleppo. The market is approximately 13 km long and fully covered, making it an other worldly experience. Entering the market will remind you of a time when it was a major trading center for imported goods brought to Syria by foreign travelers with their caravans. Locals still took to the souq to buy everything from agricultural goods to spices and handcrafted metalwork until recently. Many sections of the souq were damaged or burnt as a result of fighting in the city since September 2012.

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Islamic Studies

Islam in Syria is followed by 90% of the country’s population but is not homogeneous. 74 % of the population adheres to Sunni Islamic practices while only 13% of the population is Shia. President Assad is an Alawite and part of the Shia minority, as is most of his government. Alawi Islam is centered in Syria and its followers revere Ali. Historically, Alawites have remained quite secret about their practices and represent only 11% of the Syrian population. In addition to Islam, the Syrian population is also comprised of Druze and Christians.

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Women Leading The Way

Today, most people see Syria as a strict dictatorship, war ravaged and oppressive to women. However, between 1970 and the late 1990’s, the female student population was on an upswing and the literary rate had risen to 74.2 % for women. Women got the vote in 1949 and received universal suffrage in 1953, but still upheld fairly traditional gender practices. Women only made up 15.5% of the labor force in Syria as of 2014 and today face even stricter regulations that limit their potential.

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Deir ez-Zor Bridge

This amazing pedestrian suspension bridge crosses the ancient Euphrates river in the city of Deir ez-Zor in north-eastern Syria. The steel bridge was built in 1927 by a French construction company during the French mandate of Syria. It was once a popular place for couples and families to spend a sunny afternoon. Sadly, the bridge was destroyed by intense shelling in 2013 and severely limited access to the area. The Siyasiyeh Bridge, locally known as “the bridge of death”, became the last entry point across the Euphrates and Hasakeh province.

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Al Sabil Park

This vintage photo shows Al-Sabil park in the center of Aleppo. The six hectare urban Eden was opened in 1895 during the Ottoman reign in Syria. One of the main features of the park, the Sabil ad-darawish fountain, was renovated and replaced in the mid 2000’s. The fountains and elaborate gardens made this park a popular spot with locals and tourists alike and restaurants and playgrounds on the grounds added to its appeal. In 2006, dancing water fountains were installed in the center of the park.

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Traditional Carpets

Traditional carpet weaving is an art lost to most of today’s youth, but at one time was an integral part of Syrian culture. Kilim, are flat tapestry woven carpets usually produced in bright colors and intricate design. Owning a traditional carpet would have been a sign of wealth as the time it took to make one added to its value. The Kurdish region in north-west Syria is known for producing incredibly unique and complex carpets. If you wanted to pick up a handmade carpet, the best place to go would have been the one of the ancient Souqs of Damascus.

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Bedouin Culture

The Bedouin people are perhaps one of the most understudied populations in Syria. Al- Badou or badiya comes from the word for desert and truly reflects the lifestyle of these people.  This traditionally nomadic and livestock-herding group maintains kinship ties through tribal and clan structure. There were sizable tribal communities located around Damascus and in the countryside surrounding Aleppo. During the early stages of the civil war, many Syrians with tribal backgrounds took to the forefront of fighting and featured prominently among rebel demonstrations.

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Mosaic Art

Mosaics are made by piecing together small individual pieces of colored glass, stone or other materials to create beautifully detailed images. Few mosaics dating back from the Roman empire survive in Syria, and those that do are Hellenistic in style. Three dimensional patterns, bright colors and naturalist figures are heavily featured. In November of 2015, a well preserved mosaic floor was discovered in the ancient city of Doliche, which lies on the fringes of the Turkish city of Gaziantep.


Syrian Jews

Syrian Jews originated from two distinct groups, those that fled Spain during the Expulsion and Jews that lived in Syria for generations. There were once large Jewish population in the cities of Aleppo, Damascus, and Qamishli. In the early 20th century, due to rising hostility against Jews in the region, most of Syria’s Jewish population fled to the U.S.A., South America, and Israel. As of November 2015, it was reported that the once prosperous community had been reduced to just 15 Jews in the entire country.

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Guinness Records

The world’s largest marzipan sweet was made by 225 chefs in an organized event at Hamadanya Stadium in Aleppo in July of 2003. The delicious Pistachio treat weighed in at just over 4.1 tonnes and was composed of 270 pieces fused together into one big cake. The record placing event was organized by Spacetel Syria, Syria’s pre-paid mobile phone system as a publicity stunt. The giant sweet treat was decorated with green, white, and orange glaze to recreate the logo for the new phone system. Yummy!

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Ancient Afrin

Afrin is a district of Northern Syria known for its ancient artifacts. This area owes its overwhelming amount of antiquities to Roman, Muslim, and Kurdish settlement. Afrin was originally a market and trade base but under French administration of Syria was incorporated and by 1968 had 7,000 permanent residents. According to the 2005 census, a recorded 172,095 people called Afrin home. The Syrian government lost control of the district in 2005 and it now belongs to an independent autonomous council called Rojava.

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Latakia Beach

The coastal city of Latakia is one of the most beautiful areas in Syria as well as one that has escaped some of the harshest fighting ravaging other areas of the country. Latakia has been inhabited since the 2nd millennium and the modern day city was founded somewhere in the 4th century BCE. Latakia houses several ethnic groups including Alawites, Sunni Muslims and Palestinian refugees. The coastline is renowned in Syria and was a favorite holiday spot for Syria’s middle class.

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Damascus Fruit Vendor

This idealistic photo takes us back to an earlier and more peaceful time in Syria’s history. Fresh fruit, vegetables and spices are a staple of the Syrian diet and you can see from this image how important they are to the economy as well. Street vendors were and still are quite common in the middle east. These children on their way home from school might have been responsible for picking the best quinces, freshest dates, and juiciest clementine oranges for the family.

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St. Thecla Maaloula

This remarkable monastery might be one of the most surprising things about Syria. Located just 65 kilometers north-east of Damascus and nestled between towering mountains, there is an isolated Christian village and pilgrimage site. The name, “Ma’lula”, means entrance in Aramaic, a language still used in the village. The Greek Orthodox convent of St. Thecla lies on the northern slope of a mountain and is rumored to have holy spring waters that can cure your ailments. Nuns live in the church grotto and would occasionally travel to Damascus for provisions.

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Walled City of Tell Bisse

This vintage photo of Tell Bisse  is a stunning example of the Syria of old. The walled city served as one of the principal rural fortresses along what was once called the “Sultanic Road” that led to Istanbul. The mud houses of Tell Bisse are unique to the area because of their dome shaped roofs and absence of windows, most logically a defense mechanism against marauders. Heavy fighting occurred in the area in 2012 between Syrian anti-government forces and state troops.

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Camel Cavalry

Step aside Laurence of Arabia, the Bedouin Camel Brigade has arrived. The use of camels for cavalry fighters was a fairly common practice across areas of the middle east, like Syria.  Napoleon employed camel cavalrymen during his French campaign in Egypt and Syria where the desert animal was the most logical choice. Camels can walk for long periods of time without needing a water source and are more adept at navigating sandy and rocky desert terrain. This picture is likely from around 1940 when camels were still regularly used in battle.

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Queen Zenobia

Zenobia was the Queen of the Palmyrene Empire in the 3rd century. A cultured monarch and tolerant leader, she was much loved and well respected by her citizens and is considered a national hero in Syria. Palmyra was one of the hardest hit cities over the course of the Syrian conflict and this famous statue of Zenobia sat off the coast of the Latakia beach. Most of the statues and ruins of Zenobia’s empire have been destroyed by ISIS fighters.

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Armenian Kessab

Kessab is a predominantly ethnically Armenian town in north-western Syria. It is located just 59 km north of Latakia. Thanks to its lush forests and picturesque views, it was once a hot spot for vacationing locals from Aleppo and Latakia. Agriculture and high quality laurel soap production added to the town’s fame. Due to this idealistic towns proximity to the Turkish border, it suffered incredible loses during Syria’s civil war between Turkish military forces and ISIS rebels. The Armenian Catholic Churches were burnt along with the Misakyan Cultural Center.

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Church Of Saint Simeon

The arched doorways of the Church of Saint Simeon are remarkable! This historical building was one of the oldest surviving Byzantine churches dating back to the 5th century.  Saint Simeon is a famed hermit Monk who apparently chose to live on top of a pillar to show his devotion to God as opposed to in a cave like many other Monks. The church was designated  a UNESCO World Heritage site in June of 2011, but was held by Islamic extremist forces not long after. In May of 2016, the church suffered extensive damage due to an airstrike in the area.

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Clay Writing Tablet

Syria is credited with some of the earliest modern writing forms. Cuneiform was used throughout the Bronze Age and well into the Iron Age. By the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C., cuneiform was primarily used on clay tablets which lasted longer. These surviving tablets show proof of how the language was used for a vast array of scholarly, religious, and economic documents. The Ebla Tablets are a collection of 1800 complete examples and 4700 fragments found in the palace archives of Ebla, Syria.

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Bee Hive Houses

These beehive homes have been protecting Syrians from harsh summer heat for centuries. Composed of mud, straw, and stones these amazing structures are environmentally friendly and an incredible example of native ingenuity. Beehive homes were popular in the surrounding rural areas of Aleppo where their shape and design kept locals dry during rainy season and cool in summer. Similarly designed homes can also be found in Harran, Turkey and as far flung as Scotland and Ireland.

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Al- Hamidiyah Souq

How beautiful is the Al-Hamidiyah Souq? The largest and most centrally located souq in Syria, you can find it within the walled city of Damascus. The Souq is so famous it was even featured as a “treasure” in Dan Cruickshank’s Around the World in 80 Treasures. What feels like a mix between a Parisian passage and traditional middle eastern bazaar, you can find everything along its aisles. The street dates back as far at Roman times, but in 2002 underwent extensive renovations to update and restore its’s storefronts.

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Vintage Damascus

Damascus is the seat of government and judicial courts in Syria. Over the course of its history, it has changed hands several times including brief periods under French, Turkish, Ottoman and Arab control. Despite its history and modern turmoil, this picture shows a more mundane side of Damascus. Western style clothing, yellow taxi cabs and bustling streets show a thriving city. In comparison to the images we see of Damascus today, these were far simpler times and are definitely missed.

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Aleppo At Night

Aleppo was once the most populated city in Syria and the second largest after the capital of Damascus. One of the most continuously inhabited cities in the entire world, excavations in the area have yielded fantastic archaeological finds. In the 1970’s a split occurred between Damascus and Aleppo regarding economic control in the country after the centralization of the state. Aleppo found it hard to compete with Damascus and lost its status as the cultural and economic capital of the country.

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Ma’loula Village

Built into the rugged country side north-east of Damascus you can find the small village of Ma’loula. Ma’loula is unique for several different reasons. First and foremost, the village is composed of Orthodox Christians and Muslim citizens. The Muslim population, however, was never Arabizsed, they converted to Islam centuries ago but never adopted Arab customs or language. Second, in Ma’loula, Aramaic is still a widely used and spoken language. Due in part to its isolation and lack of access to television and radio, it has until recently retained its individuality.

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Copper Craftsman

The fine art of copper craftsmanship used to be passed down from father to son in Syria and plenty examples of excellently crafted household tools can still be found. In Syria, copper has historically been the metal of choice for household items. Pans and pots made of the metal were traditionally given as wedding gifts. The covered copper market on King Faisal Street, just outside the Old City of Damascus, used to be the place to get delicately made copper platters and coffee urns.

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Military Ceremony

Syria is a semi-Presidential Republic that has been led by a member of the Assad Family for the last few decades. In this photo, you can see former President Hafez al-Assad on the far right standing vigil at a war commemoration ceremony. Hafez passed away in 2000 and was followed by his son, Bashar Al-Assad. Bashar Al-Assad worked as doctor in the Syrian army after graduating from Damascus University. Seen initially as a potential reformer of Syrian policy, he has since been highly criticized for his involvement in war crimes against his own people.

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Water Pipe Cafe

Aromatic water pipes took the streets of Aleppo by storm and rose in popularity in recent years. These men are seen enjoying a relaxed afternoon at their local coffee shop while indulging in flavored tobacco. According to a 2010 census, 20% of women and 60% of Syrian men smoke some form of tobacco product. Nargilla, or water pipe smoking, is enjoyed for the social atmosphere it facilitates and the pleasurable smell and taste users experience. Cigarettes, on the contrary, are less socially acceptable.

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Damascus Coffee

No social gathering in Syria is complete without fresh roasted coffee. Sometimes, ground cardamon is added to coffee for its rich flavor and delicious scent. Coffee is traditionally served in small espresso style cups with saucers for added aesthetic value. This man is a traditional coffee peddler often seen on the streets of Aleppo or along market aisles. The portable Samovar you can see on this man’s back is popular across Syria, Turkey, Kashmir and parts of Eastern Europe.


Syrian Bride

Western style “white weddings” are gaining popularity and acceptance in Syria with the younger generation. This bride might have the princess gown but chances are she has chosen to keep some traditional practices like the “arada band” – a traditional musical group that entertains guests with songs and mock sword fighting. In Damascus, a Mubarake is performed one week after a wedding to make sure everyone is aware of the happy nuptials. A Mubarake is a congratulatory party where friends and family that couldn’t attend the wedding can still give gifts to the new couple and toast their love.

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Bab Tuma Alleyway

Bab Tuma is a borough in the Old City of Damascus, one of seven gates whose name translates to Gate of Thomas in English. Early Christianity has roots in Bab Tuma and its famous residents throughout history including Saint Paul and Saint Thomas the Apostle. In the 16th century, it became the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. Bab Tuma was one of the most popular tourist destinations in Damascus and home to several popular bars and coffee shops.

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Vogue Fashion Shoot

This photo shoot would never happen today! In these images from 1965, a model strikes a pose in daring silk chiffon among the ancient Roman relics of Palmyra. Photographer for Vogue magazine, Henry Clarke, captured beautiful images in several Middle Eastern locations in the mid 1960’s. Vogue Editor Diana Vreeland was inspired by the mystery and history of the Middle East and did what it took to get her models on location, including pulling strings with high up government officials.


Mount Qasioun

Overlooking the city of Damascus you’ll find stunning Mount Qasioun. The city has expanded over the years and is home to a variety of restaurants and tourist sites. The slopes of the mountain are steeped in legend and rumored to have once been the home to the first human. Adam, Abraham, and Jesus are all supposedly former residents of the mountain and took refuge in its caves. Three separate caves are specifically referenced in Holy Scriptures, The cave of Blood, The cave of Hunger, and The cave of the Seven Sleepers.

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Time Before Cars

Donkeys have been used as a working animal for more than 5000 years around the world and for various reasons. The price of an automobile made it difficult for your average Syrian citizen to purchase and pack animals fulfilled the need instead. Donkeys and camels are quite common in the Middle East as a valuable mode of transportation and agricultural animal. The men in the photo below are likely taking their purchases home after a day of trading and selling in one of Damascus’ busy markets.

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Any tourist to the middle east will tell you that a trip to the local market or Souk is an experience you’ll never forget. It’s customary to barter for services and goods and never expect that the first price offered is a fair one.  You can see in the image below dry spices, baskets of food stores and hanging gourds and fruits. The women in the picture are well aware of how to get the best deals and won’t let the shop keepers take advantage of them! Remember, if you visit a souk to start high and gradually lower your price. Act like a local!

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Al- Dawayat Cave

Al-Dawayat cave is located near Mashta al-Helu, a resort town in north western Syria. This small village is surrounded by lush greenery and a coastal mountain range. The town is predominately Christian and fairly secluded. This amazing cave structure was a source of tourist attraction and it’s easy to see why. Its unique structure is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It is considered to be one of the oldest cave formations to have been discovered in Syria.

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Syrian Flat Bread

This young boy is seen drying traditional flatbread along the sonny steps of his neighborhood. Traditional Syrian flat bread is soft and only slightly leavened. Across the Middle East, pita bread or flatbread is commonly eaten and accompanies most meals. This young boy might be preparing to sell his freshly baked flatbread, and although it might not look appetizing to purchase bread off of the ground, it was a quite common practice for cooling. Most savory Syrian dishes are served with a healthy does of pita on the side.


Absolutely Crazy Things That You Can Only Find In Japan

If there is one country that does virtually everything in its own unique and slightly crazy way, it’s Japan. There is so much more to the Land of the Rising Sun than just sushi, origami, and Godzilla. Here’s some proof!


AnimeJapan has been held in Tokyo every year since its establishment in 2014. The anime consumer show, which was held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center, is a merger of the Tokyo International Anime Fair and the Anime Contents Expo. Hundreds of people gather to attend this big event, and go all out with unique cosplay outfits.


Domo Ari-Gotta Go!

One thing that Japan is world-renowned for is its innate ability to innovate. So many bizarre inventions have come out of this Asian country. Some have been useful, while others were definitely not. We are yet to decide whether or not this toilet motorcycle hybrid is something that we need or even want in our lives. It’s unclear who would feel comfortable doing their business while riding down the freeway. Who knows? Apparently, though, there is a demand in Japan.

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Domo Ari-Gotta Go!


This senior citizen tried to take his friend on the bullet train. However, the authorities were alerted about the panda-dressed individual who got stuck in the train door. Officials were convinced that it was a real panda, violating their strict no-panda policy.

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Pet Peeves

Ever heard of that phenomenon when dog owners end up looking more and more like their canine friends as time goes on? Well, it looks like one Japanese citizen ended up actually becoming the same breed as its pet. The fact that this dog looks like a cross-breed between a Pomeranian and a polar bear is beside the point. We are pretty sure that this dog owner is actually a human dressed up as a dog. At least, we hope.

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Pet Peeves

Ramen Jacuzzi!

Ever wished that you could have your meal of choice while bathing in a relaxing jacuzzi with your friends? Well, it seems like Japan is already one step ahead with their genius ramen jacuzzi. Let’s face it; if there was anything that you would like to eat while having a bath, then it would be some pork broth and giant noodles. Heck, why not share the jacuzzi with some friends and you can share the classic Japanese dish!

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Ramen Jacuzzi!

What’s “Useless” In Japanese?

If there is one nation where fashion trends are changing by the minute, it’s Japan. Walk through any Tokyo main street and you will see an array of wacky costumes, colorful dresses, and the most bizarre accessories on the market. Take this group of guys, for example, who all seem to be rocking the most popular backpack out there right now. Every bag has the design of a cute animal and can just about store a pack of tissues.

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What’s “Useless” In Japanese?

Teriyaki Races

Ever played Super Mario Kart and wished that you could take part in a real-life version of it? Well now, you can! A handful of Japanese cities now provide tourists (and locals) with the chance to choose a character from the popular video game and ride around in an actual “Mario Kart.” However, there are some rules that do apply. For example, you’re not allowed to actually race each other. Also, it is forbidden to throw red turtle shells.

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Teriyaki Races

Viva Las Tokyo!

There is no doubt that Elvis Presley’s impact as a pop cultural icon has spread far and wide to the four corners of the globe. In fact, there are many people who live in Japan who idolize the King of Rock n’ Roll so much that they are desperate to dress and look like him. While it is clear who this gang of guys is trying to imitate, we doubt that they will get a record deal anytime soon.

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Viva Las Tokyo!


The Far East is home to a plethora of different faiths and belief systems that large swathes of the Western World are wholly unfamiliar with. However, we struggle to believe that there is a religion in Japan where its deity is a truck. Look, according to a lot of censuses, there are apparently many adherents of the Jedi religion. So stranger things have happened. There is also a chance that this guy might be about to tie his shoelaces.

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It’s Wine O’Clock Somewhere

Apparently, in Japan, people aren’t just jumping into ramen jacuzzis; they also enjoy swimming in pools full of wine! Why sit at home with a bottle of Merlot when you can jump into a pool full of it and drink until your heart’s content? It looks like this particular pool is a popular spot with the locals. However, we advise any tourists to not get in this pool without any supervision. Even when you’re on holiday in Japan, drink responsibly, folks.

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It’s Wine O’Clock Somewhere

Cold Feet

Out of all the wacky inventions that Japan has come up with over the years, we are astounded by one of their most recent ones; the sleepwalking bag. It seems that a large chunk of the Japanese population has a tendency to get out of bed and walk around while sleeping. This is when some clever individual decided to take a sleeping bag, cut some holes in the end, stick his legs out and see the results. Warning: feet can get very cold.

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Cold Feet

Special Delivery!

We live in amazing times. Nowadays, you can pretty much order anything online. With the click of a button, you will have your desired possession wrapped, packed, and shipped thousands of miles to your home. The most recent commodity that a Japanese innovator has seen a market for is pretty simple: women. So, if you are looking to pay for a partner, just hop online and type, “order Japanese woman” and FedEx will deliver her to you in no time.

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Special Delivery!

Cutest Third Wheel Ever

When these two work colleagues were told that “bring a friend to work day” was just around the corner, they were put in a pretty awkward situation. Not only did they have the same best friend, but their best friend is a giant walking teddy bear. Despite the early apprehension, the colleagues swallowed their pride and agreed to both bring their cuddly buddy to work. There may have been a couple of raised eyebrows, but all three had a great day.

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Cutest Third Wheel Ever

Anything For The ‘Gram

As previously mentioned, Japan is always pushing the envelope when it comes to fashion. One lady believed that the next big thing was to show how long she could hold her breath while still looking good. In order to achieve this, she wrapped a bag around her head, sealed it tight at the bottom and filled the bag full of water and a school of goldfish. It might be incredibly dangerous, but it’s surely worth it, right?

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Anything For The ‘Gram

The Force Is Strong With This Batter

In Japan, it’s not enough for anyone to compete in the baseball leagues. If you want to get to the top, you have to be from a galaxy, far, far, away. So when Darth Vader and C-3PO got a call about an opportunity to trial in Japan, they got on the next Star Destroyer and flew all the way to Tokyo. Vader was able to channel his inner dark side as an aggressive pitcher.

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The Force Is Strong With This Batter

Light Snack

It seems like eating contests are getting bigger every year. The more that you can stick down your throat, the more impressive it is (apparently). However, Japan does it a little differently. They don’t care about how much you can eat. It’s more about how you eat the food that is presented to you. When this young lady was instructed to eat a burger with 12 patties of beef inside, it wasn’t a challenge for her; it was breakfast.

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Light Snack

No More Rain = No More Friends

When it rains, people go to some pretty desperate measures to avoid it. While many have the privilege of staying at home when the heavens open, some people have to brave the harsh conditions on the way to work. Umbrellas are the natural solution to this. However, one person from Japan went a few steps further, creating an umbrella that not only protects you from the rain; it protects you from everything else too.

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No More Rain = No More Friends

Stood Up Again!

It appears that there is a community in Japan where everyone has the same hairstyle. Whether you are human or a stuffed cat, you’ll look weird if you don’t have a bald strip going down the middle of your head and a ponytail sticking up at the back. For the stuffed cat in this photo, we can only speculate that he had scheduled a date through a stuffed animal dating app, only to be stood up last minute by Miss Elephant.

Stood Up Again!

(Cat) Walk Of (No) Shame

The avant-garde fashion just keeps on coming in Japan. At catwalks around the world, models generally walk up and down in front of an audience, showing off the latest fashion trends with a variety of prestigious labels. However, Japan has no problem letting a cartoon character hijack a fashion event to remind people that life doesn’t have to be taken so seriously! There is a reason that Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world, and it’s not the fish.

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(Cat) Walk Of (No) Shame

One Giant Step For Japan

In many ways, Japan feels like another planet. The food is unique. The landscape is incredible. Heck, even the people are fairly eccentric in behavior, and the rule also applies to people’s sense of dress. There are some civilians who like to walk around and act like that they are actually from another planet. Take this guy, for example, who is wearing a legitimate astronaut suit that he appears to have designed back at home.

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One Giant Step For Japan

Family Fries

Family. You can’t live with them, but you can definitely have a huge platter of fries with them. This is obviously a family based on the way that each person is glued to their mobile devices. The only thing that binds them together, other than DNA, is a pile of fries. Members of the public are so enamored by this close-knit family that they had to take some photos and videos, sharing with the world clear proof that Japan has a lot of heart.

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Family Fries

Godzilla In A Pear Tree

Is it really that surprising that the people of Japan celebrate Christmas? As you probably know by now, this charming country loves any excuse to light everything up in bright colors, making any street look like psychedelic ’60s rock album cover. When Christmas came around, one particular mall commissioned an artist to trim a tree to resemble one of Japan’s finest exports – Godzilla. The results were stunning and thousands of people flocked to the mall to see the gargantuan decoration.

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Godzilla In A Pear Tree


Although it is believed that the smallest McDonald’s in the world is located in Singapore, of all places, this cute little vendor is a very close contender. It should be made clear though that there’s a good chance that this is just a place to buy McFlurries. For a moment there, we genuinely believed that there was a tiny kitchen inside with four cooks flipping burgers and making fries. However, would you really be surprised if that was actually the case?

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The Original Panorama

On most smartphones these days, there is an option on the camera app to take a panorama shot. This allows the user to take a 360-degree shot of any given landscape. Well, before smartphone cameras became so mainstream, one Japanese innovator created their own technology to achieve the same goal. Instead, they connected seven disposable cameras together and with the click of a button, she got her own panorama. Classic Japan – preferring to do things the hard way.

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The Original Panorama

Hotel Sayonara

There are some buildings out there that have some truly outlandish designs like Spain’s Mind House, Poland’s Crooked House, and The Lotus Temple in India. Then there’s this hotel in Japan. You might think to yourself, “wow, that hotel looks in good condition despite being knocked upside down by a tornado.” However, you’ll be surprised to learn that this bizarre looking building was designed to appear to be upside down. If you are happy to sleep on the ceiling, then be our guest.

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Hotel Sayonara


It seems like Japan has a practical answer to even the most trivial of inconveniences. With the Shinkansen (“Bullet Train”) being such an integral part of so many people’s lives here, traveling to and from work can take up a lot of time in this part of the world. Therefore, a device has been created that helps keep your head straight while falling asleep on the train. However, the helmet is so comfortable that many people have overslept and missed their stops.

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Essential Headgear

We’ve all been there before. You desperately need to blow your nose but there are no tissues in sight. How does Japan fix this problem? Simple – fix a toilet paper roll dispenser on top of your head. Not only will you always have a clear nose, but you will never be without whenever you visit the little boys or little girls room. Let’s face it; it’s not like you need to see what’s in front of you every time you blow your nose. Right?

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Essential Headgear

Can I Have Some Wa-Tabby With That?

Sushi. It’s a food that has a special place in the hearts of many Japanese people and millions of others around the world. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to know that some like to dress up their pets as their favorite types of the classic rice dish. Check out this adorable cat, who looks like it’s on its way to a Halloween party dressed up as a piece of nigiri.

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Can I Have Some Wa-Tabby With That?

Sayonara? More Like, Sayo-Never

Everyone has their favorite way to prepare eggs. Some like them fried, others like them scrambled. Some even like to eat them raw (Sly Stallone in Rocky, we’re looking at you). However, the ingenious innovators of Japan are at it again and have taken the hard-boiled technique to a whole new level. Do you want more than one hard-boiled egg? Have no fear. This fascinating country sells its very own hard-boiled egg sausage and they are pretty common!

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Sayonara? More Like, Sayo-Never

Gotta Drive ‘Em All!

Japan has brought many unique things to the world: sushi, origami, bullet trains – the list goes on and on. However, there is no denying that Pokemon is right up there with the Land of the Rising Sun’s finest exports in recent times. The name of the game is to catch as many powerful creatures as possible. Well now, you can collect minibusses – each one designed like one of the 100s of Pokemon from the game. The most iconic one? Pikachu, of course.

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Gotta Drive ‘Em All!