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Well-off Syrians create slice of home in Dubai

An employee pictured at the Syrian Al-Hamidieh restaurant in the luxurious Dubai Marina district in Dubai on May 9, 2014As Syria’s conflict drags on, refugees who fled to the UAE have recreated a slice of home in the Gulf state, from popular Syrian restaurants to Damascus’s iconic Hamidiyeh market. “This place attracts us because it makes us feel as if we are in Damascus,” says Waleed Ayoub, a customer. Like millions of his countrymen, Ayoub has left Syria, where peaceful protests for political change in March 2011 turned into a full-on civil war after a brutal government crackdown on the protesters. With its mock up of the arched ceiling of Damascus’ main old souq, Al-Hamidiyeh is one of many new restaurants and shops in the United Arab Emirates catering to Syrians nostalgic for their homelands.

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