Syria has a bad reputation but in 2009 it was most hospitable and fascinating to explore. It felt very relaxed, 100% safe and quite conservative but accepting of foreigners.
Photos shown are from Damascus, Aleppo, An-Nabk, Mar Musa, Palmyra and Krak de Chevalier. The Ummayad Mosque in Damascus is still standing but the central mosque in Aleppo (man in foreground) is a ruin, and so is Palmyra unfortunately. I don’t think the columns and amphitheatre are still standing. I don’t know what happened to the mountain convent of Mar Musa but I hear it was also attacked by IS.