Children's art fair, Palmyra. 2009  +34° 33' 0", +38° 16' 22"

Fall of 2009, we navigated a rented car counter-clockwise around a peaceful and welcoming Syria. I remember the faces I photographed now, as every hour brings images of the regime’s secret security police and army - and now DAESH (ISIS)  attacking civilians with increasing violence, live fire, tanks, helicopters, strafing, beheadings. The names of towns we passed through come flashing back as they take their turn in the horrible tweets out of Syria: Damascus, Duma, Palmyra (Tadmor), Deir ez Zor, Al Mayadin, Al Quriyah, Al Hasakah, Ar Raqqa, Aleppo (10/2012: old souq on fire), Areha, Maarat al-Nouma, Jisr ash-Shughur, Jabel al-Zawiyah, Latakia, Beniyas, Homs. These people in the news are not abstract, they are real live (at least they were alive), breathing, smiling, busy, curious, and there but for the grace of God, go all of us.