22 October 2016

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Damascus night life revives just a mile from the front line

By a military checkpoint in Damascus's Old City, just a mile from the battered frontline between government and rebel-held territory, young Syrians sit on a garden wall smoking, drinking beer or soft drinks, and talking about anything but the war.

It is a week night, but the Damascenes are keen to head out to a strip of new bars that have opened in the last few months -- some to socialize and others to work in the venues.

The revival of activity in this once-vibrant quarter is part of efforts to project an air of normality in the Syrian capital, even as the five-year-old war that has killed more than 250,000 people and created 5 million refugees continues to rage nearby.

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