If Aleppo is not the oldest inhabited city in the world, it is Damascus. Great empires have been centred here, and that history is reflected in its fine buildings, from the Umayyads, Mamluks and Ottomans in particular.
The nearby city of Bosra has some unique Roman era buildings.
Woman rest by Roman pillars in Bosra.
Black basalt stone is a feature of old Bosra.
The city walls and fort enclose the Roman theatre in Bosra.
Over 2 millenia Bosra resident have re-used stone for their houses.
Shrine of Salah ud Din, the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, who lead the Muslim defence during the Crusades, is known in the west as Saladin.
The two central parts of urban life in the middle east, the bazaar viewed from the mosque.
Narrow streets around Damascus' old suoq.
The Minaret of the Bride was the first minaret built for the Umayyad Mosque.
Now badly damaged, Damascus' Umayyad mosque dates back to the Islamic conquer of the city in 634.
The artwork in the Umayyad mosque is not typical of that at other mosques.
Ancient Roman era buildings remodelled and repurposed in Bosra.
A minaret in Damascus appears to br encased in barbed wire, although it is less dramatic- grape vines.
Ottoman era balconies overlook the narrow streets of the old city of Damascus.
The Damascus souq before the war.
Once one of the greatest mosques in the world, in central Damascus' old city, next to the bazaar.
The courtyard of the masoleum of Salah Ul Din (Salladin) is an oasis of peace in the world's oldest city.