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Children carry baskets of brightly coloured eggs at Easter Day mass in Damascus © Khaled Al-Harari/Reuters/Corbis

Damascus at Easter, not so long ago, before the war. In the Christian quarter of Bab Touma, the Christian marching bands—teenagers in khaki military shirts with coloured scarves knotted over their shoulders—drummed and trumpeted the Easter parade through the ancient alleys. A pink and blue fluffy Easter bunny was carried on a litter so large that it got stuck at a narrow bend. Behind it, on another palanquin, was a giant egg, ruffled…

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