Syria's presence in Lebanon is both covert (with thousands of security officers, many undercover) and overt - as this billboard in Beirut attests. Hafez is no longer alive, but his presence still haunts Lebanon's largest city.
An alleyway in Tripoli, Lebanon, features various posters of both Hafez and Bashar. It's not clear who posted them or what sort of message they are intended to send - and to whom. Is it a businessman trying to ward off any suspicions from Syrian security forces in Lebanon? Why the Assad poster overkill? Note also the black sunglasses image of Assad that also appears in a Damascus square.
Another alleyway in Tripoli, another set of Assad family posters. Note that few Lebanese have dared deface any of these posters. Imagine how long a George Bush poster could last untouched in a major US city.
Two posters of Bashar watch over an alleyway in Tripoli.
A cool painting of Bashar overlooks a busy square in Damascus.
A banner of Hafez watches over shoppers.
Here's a close-up of the banner that hangs over one of Damascus' main covered markets.
A larger than life immortalization of Hafez Assad.
A portrait of Hafez overlooks a major square in Damascus.
Another look from the streets of Damascus.
He knows when you've been sleeping... No, it's not Santa Claus. It's Syria's big brother (actually, Bashar is one of Hafez Assad's younger children - his older brother died in a car accident).
Along the Jordanian border, a portrait of Hafez Assad offers a kind message to those taking their leave of Syrian soil: "Thanks for your fizit!" (Bonus: Dig the bikers!) Hafez's image is there when you're coming and when you're going.
A newswire photo of Arab League chief Amr Moussa meeting with the Syrian Foreign Minister. A portait of Bashar keeps on eye on their discussions.
Here Assad oversees laborers taking a break.
Yet another look for Bashar Assad, available at the nearest Damascus streetshop.
A mural of Hafez Assad surrounded by a halo of light takes up most of the side of an apartment building in Damascus.
This is an archive photo of Papa Assad (Hafez) getting the red carpet treatment from Jacques Chirac outside the Elysee Palace in Paris. Two observations: (1) Chirac has to leave his palace after his term ends, whereas the Assads get to keep the People's Palace in Damascus. (2) In the wake of Rafik Hariri's murder Chirac appears to have turned chilly to the younger Assad.
Paintings of various Assad family members are available for purchase in most Damascus commercial areas. A must-have for any private collection.
At the top of Mount Kassioun in Damascus sits The People's Palace. The people are not allowed inside, but that is where the Assad family has its official residence. High up over the oldest city in the world.
This photo was taken by Athena at the Syrian Military Museum (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/terrorismunveiled/my_photos). It's a sort of "Top Gun" look for Bashar.
John Kerry swung through Syria on his January 2005 Middle East jaunt. Outside the People's Palace - the Orwellian title for Assad's official residence - Kerry was photographed with iconic portraits of the deceased Hafez Assad in the background.
An Iraqi woman living in Syria votes in the recent Iraqi elections at a polling station in Syria. Note the portraits of the Assad dictators gazing down on her participation in the democratic process.
Athena (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/terrorismunveiled/my_photos) offers a photo of the Syrian border with Jordan. It's raining and the cars are queuing up. Overhead loom two portaits: Bashar and Hafez.