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Snapshots From Syria

Anne Barnard, the Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times, drove to Syria recently, spending two and a half weeks in Damascus and Latakia. Below are some of the snapshots and observations she shared, with links to articles from her travels.


  1. Ms. Barnard, driving in from Lebanon, arrived in Damascus on a quiet afternoon. She sometimes made her posts to Twitter with a time lag, for security reasons. 
  2. Syrian expatriates followed her trip on Twitter, sharing her photographs and their own comments. 
  3. A hotel in the Old City, one of the first historic houses to be converted into a boutique hotel, is emptier now. 
  4. After the article about life in Damascus, below, was published, some Syrian expatriates peppered her with questions. 
  5. Deciphering: He observes that people in Damascus have been used to a relatively privileged life and are loathe to risk more. The reference to 40 years is the length of the Assad family's reign. 

  6. (Ms. Barnard misnumbered the tweets, there was no No. 3.)
  7. Ms. Barnard interviewed Syria's deputy foreign minister, who offered hopes for talks, though not as the West expected.. 
  8. Ms. Barnard spoke with many supporters and opponents of of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad,  as well as with people who don't support either side.