There is concern over a Russian missile shipment to the Assad regime, but cautious optimism persists in some Western capitals over a planned international conference on Syria.
As the US backs into Syria and other Mideast crises, China is proactively and strategically engaging in the region. Its actions point out what America has to lose if it continues to hesitate in the Middle East.
Israel is straining to arrest a slide toward regional conflict after staging an airstrike on a military facility outside Damascus, reportedly to stop a transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.
The language barrier makes it hard for non-Arab tourists to understand the Bedouin lifestyle, but Abdullah Zhaeka's English and Hebrew skills are bridging the gap.