Invisible cities. The metropolis of Damascus, intellectual hub of Aleppo, steamy waterfronts Latakia, winding streets of tiny Ma’loula – places that are now suspended in semi-being, the state of war-not-war, bombed and raided again and again, waiting for a good change that will never come. Syria, the country that several decades ago was cut out, as many other in the region, along pencil drawn lines that didn’t reflect historical divisions – now is being disassembled, erased, smudged out of the Middle East map, making millions of honest and hard working people refugees for life.

I took those pictures almost 20 years ago, during the first visit to the place where all the paths of our civilization used to cross, where three great religions were born and matured, before falling into doctrines, solidifying into blocks of religions. It was one of the constitutive experiences of my life.

I went to Syria again, couple years later, only to find the same open, hospitable people. I went again to meet friends. Are they still there? How many members of their families are still alive?