This is what Syria is really like

Written by By Michael Wedemeyer, CNN

Just when some might have thought Syria had turned a corner, President Bashar al-Assad and his forces unleashed a fresh wave of terror and destruction. CNN explores the troubled world of Syria’s skies:

Weather report:

With nearly 600 weather stations across the country, Syria boasts one of the world’s most advanced meteorological systems. According to a 2008 report from British think tank Chatham House, the country’s seasonality of precipitation and temperature is among the best in the world.

Seek safety:

Most flights, but not all, have gone on as planned after the deaths of 58 Bulgarian crew members in a Syria rebel attack on a civilian passenger jet. Bulgaria announced that an emergency air safety meeting was due to take place on Tuesday.

Budget tourist:

With the war destroying the industry and while the country struggles to recover from years of recession, Syria’s attractions are attracting the backpacker set. Syrian airlines have announced cheap flights as the country looks to market itself to the global aviation community.

Some say Syria’s attractions are attracting the backpacker set. Credit: Brian Marcus/CNN

Mediterranean phobia:

Days of frosty winds and crushing seas in Southern Europe are long behind Syria. With time the Mediterranean has evolved into a hot zone and both tourism and oil production have increased. As the country rises to its own challenges of economic collapse, Syria can now count itself as a member of the Mediterranean club.

Political ideology:

Since Hafez al-Assad became president in 1970, the Assad family, who inherited their dynastic hold on power from the dictator’s father, the late Hafez al-Assad, has come to enjoy an untouchable status among Syrians. It has been a week since Assad’s regime hit the floor with a bang and with one massacre and one dead body now piling up by the kilo, opinions are sure to get closer to a red line in the sand.

Syria’s landscape is rich with ruins. Credit: Syed Karim/Reuters

Somewhere out there

On-screen and off-screen, Syria has been a subject for film and television. Most recently, the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster “Lincoln” pulled in nearly $85 million in the US, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt as his son Robert.

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