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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Memories of Palmyra

Temple of Bel

1000 Year Old Fort on Hill at Palmyra

The Fort

Funeral Tower at Palmyra

More funeral Towers

Gate in the Palmyra Oasis

Inside the fort at Palmyra

Cafe on the Road to Palmyra at the Turnoff to Iraq

For the past 7 years I have been fortunate enough to travel in the Middle East and have spent a couple months in Syria on three trips. One of my favorite places in the Middle East is the Syrian desert town of Palmyra. Two thousand years ago Palmyra was a busy Roman town and the ruins left in the desert there are some of the most spectacular you will ever see, until now.

 A few months ago the town was taken over by Isil resulting in horrible death and destruction. People have been slaughtered  in the street, the Roman Theater has been used for beheading soldiers and killing their children, 81 year old Khaled Al-Asaad an archeologist from the museum was beheaded last week and his body hung in the town square because he would not tell them where antiquities were hidden, and 2000 year ruins have been destroyed. Just this week the very large and impressive Temple of Bel and its columns, see first photo, has been blown up. At first it was impossible to believe but now satellite photos show it destroyed.

 These photos were taken on a month long trip I made there in April 2011 with my brother. We traveled over 2000 miles in our rental car which at one time was taken over by the army who had us transport two soldiers to the coast. This was right after the war first started and the owner of our hotel drove us to the airport in Damascus saying he would get us there safely as he knew all the back roads.