Rania Kataf captures images of the city's famed houses. AFP
After seeing the dilapidated, crumbling houses of war-torn Syria’s capital, Rania Kataf, began creating a digital archive of the buildings of Old Damascus.
"I was inspired by European photographers who tried to document buildings in their cities during the Second World War so architects could later rebuild part of them," the 35-year-old said.
Damascus is famed for its elegant century-old houses, usually two storeys, built around a leafy rectangular courtyard with a carved stone fountain at its centre.
Their many rooms usually include both a summer and a winter guestroom, both looking onto the courtyard.
During the country's 10-year civil war several of these traditional homes have been abandoned by their owners or damaged in the conflict.
In 2016, Kataf created a group on Facebook called "Humans of Damascus", to which more than 22,000 Syrians from the capital have sent in photos of their homes.
"You don't need to be an expert to document something," she said.
Grand family home
Already her pictures are proving useful in restoration efforts.
Inside a palatial Ottoman-era home called Beit al-Quwatli, Kataf painstakingly captures shots of each section of an ornate wall, then scribbles in her notepad.
The building once belonged to the family of Syria's first post-independence president, Shukri al-Quwatli.
Part of the home collapsed in 2016 after rebel rocket fire nearby cracked its walls, but today the authorities and private partners are sprucing it up to turn it into a cultural institute.
In 2013, UNESCO decided to add all six of Syria's World Heritage sites, including the Old Cities of Damascus and Aleppo and the ruins at ancient Palmyra, to its World Heritage in Danger list.
Kataf, who studied nutrition in Lebanon's capital Beirut, said she was spurred into action after seeing the conflict damage or destroy architectural gems elsewhere in Syria.
"I was scared the same would happen to Old Damascus, so I started to document as many of its details as I could," she said.
Today some buildings are still at risk of "losing their identity because of money-making projects, or becoming neglected and forgotten after their residents emigrated," Kataf said.
I live in a museum
But Raed al-Jabri, sitting by the fountain inside his home-turned-restaurant, said he has done all he could to preserve the building's original beauty.
"We were going to lose the house completely. It was about to collapse and was in desperate need of repair," the 61-year-old said.
He converted the house into an eatery in the 1990s, investing his profits in the building's upkeep.
"A Damascus home is not just for its inhabitants," he said, reminiscing about better days before the war, when tourists flocked to the city.
In another part of the Old City, 50-year-old businessman Sameer Ghadban said he was proud to still live in what was once the home of a famous 19th-century Algerian who had resisted the French occupation of his homeland, then sought refuge in Syria until his death.
Clutching a small saw, Syrian volunteer Rana Jreij cut away at bushes growing up the centuries-old walls of one of the world's most famous Crusader castles, Krak des Chevaliers.
Trump-administration driven Western sanctions are blocking the massive reconstruction aid and investment Syria needs to rebuild.
In the year since I last visited Syria, Damascenes have lived without the metallic report of mortars fired by insurgents landing in the city and its suburbs, the whistle of responding artillery shells and thud of bombs dropped on Eastern Ghouta.
'There is no better place than Heart of Sharjah - an area steeped in history — to host Sharjah Heritage Days, which is why we choose this venue every year. It offers us an ideal platform to showcase not only local cultural and artistic traditions, but those of several countries who join us from all over the world.'
Rated as the world’s 7th best water park by TripAdvisor, Pearl Kingdom has added several new features to its list during the renovation, including a new F & B café.
Obama had promised his young daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the 2008 election, and Bo joined the family soon after they moved into the president's official residence.
It is unclear what killed Neanderthals off, although theories include an inability to adapt to climate change and increased competition from modern humans.
Used as a spice and medicinal herb in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve gastric problems, and even protect against certain forms of cancer among other illnesses.