Thousands of people have been killed or injured in the war in Syria. The conflict has also taken a toll on the country's cultural and historical buildings.
All six of Syria's World Heritage sites have been put on an endangered list by the UN's cultural organisation UNESCO.
In neighbouring Iraq, a country rich in history, its cultural sites have been the subject of destruction, looting and occupation. And priceless objects have made their way to lucrative antiquities markets around the world.
UNESCO is holding its 38th annual meeting in the Qatari capital Doha to find a way to save important heritage sites not just in the conflict zones - but in other areas of the world.
But can one organisation alone do the job? And what does it really take to preserve the world's heritage.
Presenter: Sami Zeidan
Nada Al Hassan: Chief of Arab States Unit at UNESCO.
Alec Marr: Director of International World Heritage Programme at the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society.