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I almost died in Syria

There's a private bar in London whose members are nearly all war correspondents. The men and women standing at the bar could easily convince you that war reporting is one of the most exhilarating experiences that life has to offer, a gateway to the outer limits of human experience. This, of course, is absolute nonsense, and they all know it. I can tell you that because I'm frequently one of those people drinking there, and I've spun that line on more occasions than I care to remember.

I've been making documentaries in war zones on and off for the last 10 years, and I can assure you that working in a conflict zone is absolutely the most horrible, lonely and uncomfortable experience you're ever likely to have.

But that's easy to forget.  Within days or even hours of getting home, the bitter and complex reality of seeing a conflict close-up quickly melts into a series of increasingly honed anecdotes whose veracity I can't quite guarantee.

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