My Adventures in Syria
We lived in Syria for a year during 2004 and 2005, returning for visits in 2007 and 2010. I began blogging in Syria in January 2005. Things were different back then, as the country was in the midst of what was called the "Damascus Spring." The mistreatment of political dissidents was lessening, and the country had recently opened up to the internet and a freer press. Public support for Assad was at or near an all-time high, mostly in response to a conflict with Lebanon that seemed to unite Syrians behind the regime.
In hindsight, some of my posts about the Assad family may seem tone-deaf. But I was not alone in my incorrect assessment of the future of the Syrian regime - even throughout the first couple of years of unrest there (from 2011 onwards), many expert analysts remained optimistic about Assad's ability to reform. Now, of course, we know that not to be the case. And also, sometimes I probably was tone-deaf.
So don't treat my posts below as the musings of an expert. They are a true reflection of my experiences at the time they were written, and will always remain some of my fondest recollections in a truly magical country.