In the town of Maalula, just outside Damascus, many people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. It’s one of the very few places in the world where that tongue is still spoken. Some children don’t even learn Arabic, the official language of Syria, until they start school.
The buildings of the mostly Greek Catholic town of Maalula cling to the side of a steep hill. Many of them are light blue in color, giving the landscape an otherworldly feel, something fragile yet lasting, and completely unusual.
Christian symbols, such as this statue of Jesus Christ, are present throughout the predominantly Muslim country.
Damascus’ Umayyad Mosque, one of the holiest shrines in Islam, at night. The mosque you see today was built on the site of an ancient pagan temple.
The facade of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, Syria, one is Islam's holiest sites. When Christianity became the official religion of the Byzantine Empire, a basilica to St. John the Baptist was built on the site where the mosque now stands. The head of St. John the Baptist is reportedly buried in the mosque.
Massive columns remain from a pagan temple, which was at once the Temple of Hadad — and later the Temple of Jupiter in Damascus, Syria.
Christians light candles in St. George's Monastery.
The Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers has a sacred room with both Christian altars and Muslim prayer niches.
Crowds outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.
The Christian Chapel is also a site of Muslim prayer at the Crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers.
St. Paul converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus, and the country just recently celebrated 2000 years since his birth, in a year-long nationwide commemoration. This cafe dedicated to the Christian saint is in the Damscus' Christian Quarter.
The Mother Superior of the Convent of St. Thekla, Pelagia Sayaf, poses with Amy. Pelagia attributes many miracles to St. Thekla, and pilgrims travel to the convent every year in search of healing.
The Syrian Ministry of Tourism recently invited journalists from around the world to view Syria's treasures from the capital city of Damascus to the ancient cities of Bosra and Palmyra. Fox News went along for the ride.