Life in Damascus, Syria, 2013

Before the War
Before the War
Part of Downtown Today
Part of Downtown Today

Life goes on in Damascus, Syria, a war torn, blown up, deadly urban city with millions. These people are just everyday people, not rebels, not terrorists, maybe anti or pro-Assad, but to them the bottom line is life. Survival.

Damascus was once a nice city and well cared for. Now, roving electrical outages blacken the city for long stretches of hours and in winter with cold temperatures, keeping a house warm is not easy to do. Fuel shortages are daily life events, rationing, communications sporadic or cut, getting water or food is the job of many non-combatants. Over 2.5 million of them! Last week, all of Damascus lost power. Loss of power means many will cut down trees, break up furniture to get wood to burn to keep warm. Another job is getting bread, standing in line for 4 hours to get a subsidized 3 lb. loaf of bread. Work is nil, many will do just about anything to make some money. Many kids are no longer in schools because there is no school or no teachers or no materials. Gasoline for motors or cars costs about $2.30 a gallon but you must wait in line for six hours to get it. If your motor uses diesel, forget it-there is none in all of Damascus. When you get to the gas pump, you only are allowed five gallons per day.

Life in this once beautiful city is in ruins. If you experienced Berlin in 1945, after WW2 ended, it is much like that.

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