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New top music tour destination: Damascus

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Syria’s ancient capital is hardly the usual venue for an international band on tour. Partly due to its negative image in the West and partly because it is uncharted territory for foreign musicians, pop-loving Syrians have long been resigned to traveling to neighboring Lebanon or Jordan to watch their favorite international artists. Now that’s changing.

This summer saw pioneering dance DJs making inroads. Legendary Dutch trance-music producer Ferry Corsten was one of the first. “The Syrian crowd was amazing,” he says. “Everyone should go and play there.”

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