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by Christian L

In October 2017 was I lucky to be granted a 10-day tourist visa to Syria.

Friends and family told me I had to be insane and that I must have a death wish to want to visit Syria in 2017. Everyone knows there is a brutal war raging in the country that is heading into its 7th year now.

The people I told about my plans were all saying the chance of entering Syria was around 0 and, if I did manage to enter, I would most likely end up getting killed or kidnapped.

So when I finally managed to secure a tourist visa to Syria, I booked the first flight possible to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, since there are currently no flights to Syria.

Damascus,Syria
Streets are full of people and Shisha houses are full.

Over the 10 days, I traveled around Syria, I visited Damascus – Aleppo – Homs with countryside around it, and the Mediterranean coast before I went back to Lebanon for my flight back home to Europe.

I WENT TO SYRIA WITH AN OPEN MIND AND WITH NO POLITICAL INTENTIONS AT ALL.

To obtain a visa for Syria these days, you will have to get a recommendation from someone with contacts inside the country, fill out some paperwork, wait for around 9 – 10 weeks to get an answer and pray that you will get accepted. Most people don´t even receive an answer.

Damascus
Local families in the street, all souvenir shops are open.

I left my hotel in Beirut in the afternoon with a shared taxi heading for Damascus and I would be lying if said I wasn’t excited about my trip into Syria. The trip between the two capitals is no more than 120KM /75Miles, a journey that used to take only around 2 hours to travel between before the war, including immigration procedures.

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