Published: November 2009


Syria Damascus


Poised to play a pivotal new role in the Middle East, Syria struggles to escape its dark past.

By Don Belt
Photograph by Ed Kashi

There's a passage in The Godfather in which a young Michael Corleone, living abroad, realizes that with his older brother suddenly and violently deceased, he now stands anointed—doomed is more like it—to take over the Mafia empire his aging father has built from scratch. "Tell my father to get me home," he says to his host, resigned to the role he is now fated to play. "Tell my father I wish to be his son."

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