When I visited Damascus a decade ago, I observed many times similar scenes of a comparatively free private life, despite the regime’s strong grip on politics and society. This is now unimaginable in Syria. What was gained in the 1960s/70s, is now seemingly lost. We should, however, not forget that this region has its own humanity and should not be reduced to a mere theatre of war as portrayed in the daily news. Just like the Balkans, it will eventually overcome the civil war and rebuild itself. We just cannot see this at the moment, since virtually all imagery currently coming from the Middle East is marked by pictures of war, suffering and destruction.
See more photographs on my Instagram feed.