Syria before civil war broke out
As recently as 2010, Syria's Roman ruins, Crusader castles, Ottoman souks and sandy Mediterranean beaches appeared in international travel magazines and were a huge tourist draw. The images emerging now could not be more different: blown-out buildings, rubble-strewn streets and rows of bodies wrapped in sheets, the victims of an alleged chemical attack Aug. 21 on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus. Here is a reminder of what life was like in cities such as Damascus, Aleppo and historic Palmyra before civil war erupted in Syria.
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Art store in Damascus
Tourists shop for paintings at an art store in Damascus, the Syrian capital.