more pictures from the edge of the world

As promised, here are some more pictures. These are from my two weeks in Syria and Lebanon. If you want to see more of any of these, just let me know and I'll mail you the whole album.

The golden bust is of late Syrian President Hafez Assad at the entrance to a military museum in Damascus.

If you can zoom in you can read what Syrians really think of the U.S. In short: They're not too happy with us.

Spices in Damascus' old covered market.

The road to hell (aka Iraq) is to the right.

Avo and I at Palmyra. Behind us is the ancient city's main street, which were once lined with shops.

The cliffs of Maalula, a Christian village in Syria, where they speak Aramaic. The Virgin Mary is popular here -- see the top of the cliff? There's a church near there that was likely originally constructed more than 1,000 years ago.

Little Miss Arine on her fourth birthday in her new flashing-lights scooter.

Sossi, Arine and me at the entrance to Salaadin's castle.

Looking out to the castle from inside one of the towers.

The view from the castle.

Hafez Assad's coffin, which is in...

..this massive mausoleum. It houses his coffin in the center and his son in one corner.

The moat (a moat! awesome!) at Crac Des Chevaliers, the largest of the crusader castles.

Me, after climbing up a narrow, winding stairway to the top of the princess' tower, the tallest tower in the Crac.

You've heard of the Knights of the Round Table? Yeah, that's the round table. Sadly, no pizza though.

Blatant McDonald's ripoff, a short drive from the Crac. I'm lovin' it.

Dinner with the fam my first night in Beirut.

The coffin of Rafik Hariri -- the former Lebanese prime minister who was assassinated last year and whose murder led to all the latest madness in Lebanon -- is underneath all that tentage and security. In the middle of downtown Beirut, no less.

The new downtown Beirut. This was all Hariri's initiative.

Old vs. new Beirut

Beirut at sunset from Jounieh.

My 17-year-old cousin Varak took control of my camera at dinner.

Obligatory hookah picture courtesy of 13-year-old cousin Hrag, who also took control of my camera.

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