Resilient Damascus

John Wreford still lives in the Old City of Damascus. Here, he gives a personal portrait of life in the Syrian capital. Having taken a short break from life in Damascus, I arrived back a few weeks ago. I have residency here so leaving and returning is not really a problem. I left via Jordan…

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A Weekend in Damascus

A Weekend in Damascus

New York Times 36 Hours in Damascus

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John Wreford for The New York Times

DAMASCUS loves to flaunt its age. It claims to be the world’s oldest inhabited city replete with biblical and Koranic lore, Roman ruins, ancient Islamic edifices and Ottoman-era palaces. But that’s not to say the Syrian capital is stuck in time. Dozens of centuries-old mansions have been reborn as Mideast-chic hotels, and fashionable shops and restaurants have arisen in the ancient lanes of the Old City. Throw in a fledgling generation of bars and clubs, and the age-old metropolis has never looked so fresh.

Gorillaz in their midst … Syria welcomes Damon Albarn’s band to Damascus. Photograph: Guardian/John Wreford

Arabian heights: Gorillaz stage historic gig in Syria The biggest western act to play Damascus, Damon Albarn’s band avoid Glastonbury mistakes for a rapturous welcome

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