By Dawn West \ an artist living in Ireland
In February 1996, I went on holiday to Syria. Disembarking at Damascus airport, there were Syrian soldiers with assault rifles standing shoulder to shoulder on both sides of the short walk from the airside gate to the baggage collection hall. In Damascus I stayed at the Al Faradis hotel. It was close to the Ministry of the Interior which was guarded by soldiers. Walking along the street one evening I passed a sentry who whispered ’Hello’.
Photos: Dawn West