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Over the past decade, Syria has faced a series of crises, including a civil war, conflict with ISIS, the Covid-19 pandemic, and a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2023. These events collectively led to the departure of more than half of the country’s population. The situation has also worsened economic conditions, with over 90 percent of the population living in poverty. Syria is ranked 161 out of the 163 countries in the Global Peace Index and 175 out of 180 in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index, painting a stark picture of the challenges and hardships the country endures.
In 2023, visas for American travelers to Syria were reinstated, signifying a shift after the country had closed its doors to U.S. citizens in recent years. In light of this development, Adventurers Club member Reymundo Perez visited Syria in September with the objective of gaining firsthand insights into the lives of its people beyond the headlines, and exploring their rich history and contributions to the modern world. The visit aimed to foster a deeper understanding and greater appreciation for their culture, alleviating fear, and promoting empathy between global communities. Rey plans to share a multimedia presentation including videos, photos, and 3D scans, providing fresh perspectives.
Reymundo Perez is a writer, filmmaker, and world traveler from Southern California, and has a passion for exploring diverse cultures and humanities. As Creative Operations Manager for Lightstorm Entertainment and James Cameron’s Avatar franchise, Rey’s focus is on world-building, design, and emerging technologies. He is also co-author of Avatar: The Way of Water: The Visual Dictionary (2022) from Dorling Kindersley and Penguin Random House.