The first day of our trip to Damascus in Nov 2009 was some holiday in the region. I believe it was Eid Al Adha, which is the main Islamic Holiday and is equivalent to Xmas for Muslims. We ventured out of the hotel to wander about, there were a lot of kids of all ages dressed up. Many of the had their presents which invariably tended to be toy guns for the boys. I didn't actually take any pictures of these as I am not too keen guns of any type. We came across this friendly group who didn't carry guns. They said hello and viewed us with some interest as Damascus wasn't exactly overrun by tourists. I asked them to pose and fired off this shot: Nikon D200 @ ISO 100 Sigma 10-20mm @ 10mm 1/250 @ f/4 DxO Photolab & Color Efex Pro Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) Syria was a weird place to visit. I didn't mention to my missus but I felt we were being watched the whole time and worked on the assumption our hotel room was bugged. You could spot these beady eyed guys loitering about even at the airport and they stood out like a sore thumb. Paranoid some might think, but I did actually make out a guy following us one night as we walked back to our hotel. This time, I had to tell her we were being followed. Luckily there was another hotel about and we went into the lobby there after which I made sure to let the chap know we had spotted him. Can't say they were professional if someone like me could detect him at work. I pointed him out and we both saw him peeking at us from behind a wall which is when I shouted at him asking him what his problem was. Most definitely creepy. I guess it's no surprise the people rose up in arms soon thereafter. I wonder what became of these lads. As by now, even the youngest at the far end would be of fighting age. Surely it couldn't have been their dreams to bear real arms in a brutal civil war.