The air pollution in Damascus is bad, although not as bad as in Cairo, where, within 24 hours, every visitor’s snot turns black, the annual rain shower is the color of coffee, and after about two years, ex-pats start to lose their hair. Next time you’re in Cairo, count the number of bald people -- men and women.
I took a taxi with some friends the other day to near the top of Mount Qasyoon to view the sprawling Syrian capital from above. Depending on who you ask, the population is between three and five million. My house is a speck left of center.