American in Damascus
This is the best tourist article about Damascus I have seen for a very long time.
It is by London-based NBC journalist F. Brinley Bruton.
She spends a lot of time outside the Old City (yes, there is a Damascus outside the city walls!) and doesn't include the phrase "conversion on the road to Damascus" anywhere in her article.
It is a very thoughtful, original piece. And she clearly has been talking to real Damascenes:
"Someone advised me to not pay too much attention to maps while in Damascus."
"other Westerners tended to look away when we passed. This is the sort of place where tourists appear unwilling to speak to other foreigners, perhaps unwilling to admit that they don’t have the city to themselves."
"Naranj, full of sleek, well-heeled Syrians, has the reputation as the best restaurant in the city."
"The next night we ventured out of the Old City to go to Shameat."
The full piece is here.