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The Dom: Syria's Forgotten Refugees

The Dom are believed to have migrated to the region from India in Byzantine times, through Iran and into Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and beyond. Like so-called "Gypsies" in other regions, Syrian Dom live on the margins of the rest Syrian society, which regards them with suspicion, if not all-out loathing. Dom have traditionally provided musical entertainment at weddings and other special occasions, worked as blacksmiths, fortune tellers or tattoo artists.
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Dom in Damascus garden, date unknown.
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Dom in Damascus garden, date unknown.

Dom blacksmith, Syria, ca. 1900
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Dom blacksmith, Syria, ca. 1900

Dom entertainers at Bedouin wedding, Syria, date unknown.
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Dom entertainers at Bedouin wedding, Syria, date unknown.

Syrian Dom Refugees at Gaziantep, Turkey
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Syrian Dom Refugees at Gaziantep, Turkey

Syrian Dom Refugee Campsite, Şanlıurfa, Turkey
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Syrian Dom Refugee Campsite, Şanlıurfa, Turkey

Syrian Dom refugee tent, Karkamış, Turkey
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Syrian Dom refugee tent, Karkamış, Turkey

Preparing dinner
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Preparing dinner

Coffee Break
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Coffee Break

Syrian Dom child
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Syrian Dom child

Syrian Dom child
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Syrian Dom child

Elderly woman
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Elderly woman

Piggyback
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Piggyback

Gypsies living in Amman, Jordan are seen on Wednesday March 17, 2010 eating breakfast in western Amman. (AP Photo/Mohammad Abu Ghosh)
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Gypsies living in Amman, Jordan are seen on Wednesday March 17, 2010 eating breakfast in western Amman. (AP Photo/Mohammad Abu Ghosh)

Two gypsy women push a cart in a rich west Amman neighborhood Thursday March 29, 2007
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Two gypsy women push a cart in a rich west Amman neighborhood Thursday March 29, 2007

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