In Syria, campaigning for next month's presidential election is under way. It is the first multi-candidate contest for the post, but critics have derided the process as a sham - and for President Bashar al-Assad's opponents it reinforces the sense that hope is lost.
"This is how the lions look," says one of the many signs around Damascus. It displays a picture of President Assad, in a military outfit, sporting Rayban sunglasses.
As the presidential polls approach, streets are filled with hoardings promoting the election.