The irony of the moment was fascinating: In an ancient place in Syria at the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, a young lady struggles to get on a camel using one hand, whilst clinging to her can of Pepsi Cola with the other hand. A dark skinned Arab man holds the reigns of the camel, as he poses wearing fashionable sunglasses and a traditional Arab attire. Beneath the facade, you feel the pulse of the region, the heart of historic Syria torn between the past and modern times. You sense the impact of globalization, not only in the form of international consumer goods, but in a different way of life. As you look at the ruins in the distance, you stand in awe of a great ancient civilization that needs to embrace modern times, but maintain strong ties to its roots, culture, and history. How can this majestic empire with a unique position in the history of the Arab world surrender to chaos, bloodshed, and war, when it can lead the road towards peace, development, and solidarity?
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