Our trip to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in 2008 was the first commercial tour (tour bus, hourly itinerary) we had joined. Friends were going and we tagged along. I'm not quite sure why we felt the Levant would be more difficult to explore than elsewhere. The border crossings did take some time and there were few tourists, but the hostile image of the region seemed a thing of the past. Alas, now scant years later, much of what you see in these photos, including the lives of the people, is being destroyed as tribal hatreds and the seemingly insatiable fury of Moslem militants erupt in the face of a globalized future.