syria: In April 2007, I visited the city of Aleppo in northern Syria which is one of the world's most ancient cities. Over centuries Syria's population has grown as people moved there because of its relative tolerance and security. It's known for its religious diversity, even though most Syrians are Muslim. There is a variety of Christian churches, Muslim sects and small ancient religions which few people have heard of. Satellite television has broken the monopoly of the state broadcaster in recent years and opened up the population to the wider world. Syrians are keen to celebrate their own culture and learn more about others'. Many are suspicious of the West and its policies in Iraq and across the Middle East, but they always say that they are angry with our governments, not with us.
These portraits represent some of the people I met during my visit to Syria; I was struck by their hospitality, friendliness and generosity to a complete stranger.