Lens on Syria by Daniel Demeter عدسة على سورية

Lens on Syria: A Photographic Tour of Its Ancient and Modern Culture by Daniel Demeter is now available from Just World Books! This photography book features the finest images of my extensive collection of photography from pre-conflict Syria, taken between 2006 and 2009. Over four hundred full-color images are contained within the 304 page volume, organized by geographic region into seven chapters and featuring a striking interior layout designed by Diana Ghazzawi. Professor Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma and creator of Syria Comment, has been kind enough to author the foreword.

Lens on Syria focuses on Syria’s historic monuments and architectural heritage, interspersed with images of daily life, such as its vibrant and colorful souqs (traditional markets), and its stunning coastal, mountain, and desert landscapes. It is the most comprehensive photography book of Syria to date, covering the country’s most well-known monuments and many of its more obscure treasures, including several sites that have tragically been destroyed during the country’s ongoing conflict. If you’ve enjoyed the images that I’ve shared here on Syria Photo Guide over the years, I hope you’ll add Lens on Syria to your personal library. I believe this book captures the beauty of Syria that many, myself included, fell in love with. It is available in both hardcover and paperback, and we’ve aimed to make it as affordable as possible.

Some of the wonderful endorsements we’ve received for the book:

Ross Burns, author (Monuments of Syria, Damascus: A History, and Aleppo: A History):

“Daniel has a wonderful eye for the people, the landscapes and for the beauty of [Syria’s] extraordinary range of historic buildings. It is important that all who knew Syria before 2011 keep alive the memory of a society whose interwoven pattern of faiths, ethnicities and cultures is now threatened.”

Dr. Abdalrazzaq Moaz, former Director-General of Antiquities and Museums (Syria):

“Daniel Demeter’s photos make up one of the most important recent collections of photographs concerning the cultural heritage in Syria. These pictures reflect his love and knowledge of Syria and its heritage as well as perfection of photography.”

Dr. Alastair Northedge, Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology (Université de Paris):

“What a celebration of life in Syria as it once was! Daniel Demeter takes us on a fascinating visual tour of Syria as it was before the war, following his years there in 2006-9. Every minor detail of people and their cultural heritage comes to life in this rich photography.”

Dr. Lamya Khalidi, French National Centre for Scientific Research:

“Smells, colors, sounds and deep-time history of Syria jump from the pages of Demeter’s book in a mosaic of past and present and tell the breathtaking layered human story of a region whose multicultural identity and heritage are persistently being endangered by current violent conflict.”

Here are a few sample spreads from the book’s interior:


The seven chapters of Lens on Syria are organized as follows:

  1. Damascus
  2. The South (Damascus environs, al-Suweida, Daraa)
  3. Homs & Hama (and environs)
  4. The East (Palmyra, al-Raqqa, Deir al-Zur)
  5. Aleppo
  6. The North (Aleppo environs, Idleb)
  7. The Coast (Lattakia, Tartus)

Book events:

  • September 22nd, 2016 – George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • September 24th, 2016 – Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • September 25th, 2016 – Charlotteville, Virginia
  • September 26th, 2016 – Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia

More information:

If anyone has any questions regarding the book, or would like to host an event or discussion, feel free to contact me! Thanks for your interest.

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