Remembering visits to Syria’s lesser-known sites from antiquity, now threatened by conflict.
This is part of a series of “diaries” by veteran photojournalist Norbert Schiller, reflecting on his world travels in decades past:
Up until the beginning of the civil war, in the spring of 2011, I traveled to Syria regularly for nearly two decades.
Unlike most journalists, who had a difficulty procuring a Syrian visa, I had it relatively easy. For many years I worked part-time as the photographer for an economic journal that did country reports in the Middle East and North Africa. Because the report on Syria was in part sponsored by the Syrian government, I had unprecedented access to go and photograph just about anything I requested. My relationship with the government also made it easy for me to get regular tourist visas whenever I wanted.