Tags / Ghouta
10 year old Ammar suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that develops in infants and young children. Ammar lives with his family in the opposition-held area of Douma, in Eastern Ghouta. The residents of Eastern Ghouta have been surviving under extremely hard living conditions due to the ongoing siege imposed by the Assad regime's forces over the past two years.
In Dar al-Rahma, the only active cancer center operating in Eastern Ghouta, Dr. Wissam says that Ammar suffered sever emotional trauma, which was the primary cause of his neuroblastoma.
Ammar’s mother remembers when, nearly 3 years ago, heavy clashes and shelling erupted in the neighborhood where they reside. The clashes lasted for three hours and severely terrified Ammar. Since then the boy had suffered from fever and continuous sickness.
Dr. Wissam also stressed that with very little resources, Dar al-Rahma center is currently treating about 600 patients suffering from different types of cancer with an 11% death-rate.
Unfortunately, Transterra Media received a message on the night of Saturday, June 13, 2015 announcing the death of Ammar.
- (02:27) Um Ammar, Ammar’s mother (woman, Arabic):
Ammar was sitting at the balcony when shelling and clashes erupted, he was extremely terrified, since then he suffered from continuous fever and sickness. We took him to the doctor who examined him and found out that he has neuroblastoma. It’s a rare disease that infects one out of every 10,00 children, and the reason is emotional trauma. (02:50)
(02:51) Given that the area is besieged, how are you receiving Ammar’s medications? (02:58)
(02:58) The doctor gets part of them, but we were responsible to get the rest. There are also some medical tests that the doctor asks us to do, but we cannot send it for analysis in Damascus. This is an additional reason why his situation is relapsing, not being able to deliver the medical tests to Damascus. This made his recovery take more time. This led [Ammar] to loose his sight. We are hoping, but we don’t think he could get any better now (03:38).
(03:40) Under the siege, should Ammar follow a specific diet program? (03:45).
(03:46) The doctor says that half of the treatment is done through his diet program. Alhamdulillah we are doing all what we can. We cannot do anything more. Yes, he should follow a specific diet program, unlike other children (04:02).
- Doctor Wissam, Doctor specialized in cancer diseases (woman, Arabic):
(04:24) At first, Ammar was diagnosed after he was suffered from a shock. He suffered from continuous sweating and fever, and he was later diagnosed with neuroblastoma. He started with this treatment and then had to stop it at the (name of the previous hospital) where he had already started the treatment, and came to continue the treatment here. When he got here, he was already in the recovery stage, but unfortunately, within two months, his situation relapsed dramatically due to a psychological trauma. We had to start a new treatment phase. One of the reasons why his treatment was delayed was the lack of the MRI Scanners. In addition of the lack of the medications, either because a delay in the supply or because of the hard situation to get the medications in Ghouta, we are trying at the moment to stay in contact with international organizations such as the Red Crescent or other organizations responsible for swelling diseases, perhaps Ammar has any chance [by getting the medications inside Ghouta]. (05:32).
(05:33) What are the efforts that this medical centre is doing under the siege? (05:40).
(05:41) At the moment we have more than 600 persons who are documented of having swelling diseases that are under treatment, and a percentage of 30% of recovery, and 10.5% of deaths. We are trying to give them the medications as much as possible, but we are facing some difficulties in doing so. The besiege and the diet factor are playing a negative role in the process, because it is known that the cancer patient needs a specific food diet program so that his body can bear the medications he is receiving. In addition of course to the negative psychological factor (06:22).
- Heba, Nurse (woman, Arabic):
(08:16) Here’s a breast eradication with part of the other breast and some parts of the armpit.. we take samples of the armpit and sample of the breast to check how bad is the infection, we record it and we send it for the lab analysis.
- Abu Khaled, Managing Director of Dar al-Rahma center (man, Arabic):
(08:29) Sometimes the patient comes and take the dose of the medications to make the swelling smaller. We are sometimes in need of a surgery, but unfortunately, most of the medical centers that do these surgeries stopped their operations. The reason is because their efforts are put only for the injured people. This reason sometimes plays a negative role in the recovery of the patients, because the patients who are not getting this surgery have their situation relapsed.
Misraba, Eastern Ghouta
Residents of the rebel-held town of Misraba in Eastern Ghouta, have created a factory to make soft drinks with little resources and very simple means.
The workers of the factory use alimentary acids and preservatives, which they find in pharmacies, and using a drill they mix the powder with water. Once the melange is ready, they fill it in second hand glass bottles.
It's been two years since Eastern Ghouta has been under a tight military siege imposed by the Assad regime forces and allies.
00:00 – 00:090
Hand-written sign in Arabic reads: “Local cola. Freedom tastes sweeter.”
03:38 – 03:41
Hand-written sign in Arabic reads: “Local cola. Freedom tastes sweeter.”
03:42 – 03:47
Hand-written sign in Arabic reads:
“Creativity grows as the siege becomes stricter. Ghouta Dry is the beverage of the siege. Cheers, young men of Ghouta.” SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Saeed al-Khawly, Factory Manager
04:41 – 05:18
“In the name of God, the merciful the compassionate; Given the suffocating siege and the very hot weather, we thought of creating any project that could alleviate [the impact of] the siege on people in Ghouta. We thought about it and found that the best thing to do would be to start a cola factory – something to cool people in this very hot weather.
Thanks be to God, we managed to start a cola factory in Ghouta with the simplest means.”
05:19 – 05:48
Q: Do the substances you are using have any effect on consumers’ health?
A: No, thanks be to God. We are using preservatives and some acids that are available in pharmacies; they are alimentary acids, not chemical ones. They [the acids] are used in food substances. The added preservatives make the beverage consumable for six months.”
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Abdu, Street Vendor
05:49 – 06:08
“Customers say it is very good and it is delivered to me. I am selling about 300 to 400 bottles a day. We offer them cold to customers. They are enjoying the beverage and quenching their thirst. It is hot in Ghouta and we are under siege. This is very good.”
Citizens from rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, a suburb east of Damascus, are evacuated from various villages (mainly Douma, Jobar, Jesreen and Harasta) and relocated to a refugee camp in government-controlled Dhahiyet Qudsayyah, west of Damascus, on 22 February. In the shelter, which also houses a school, they are provided with food, clothes and other basic necessities.
August 21, 2014
A group of activists participated in a silent march in Aleppo, condemning and commemorating the chemical attack that took place last year in the suburbs of Damascus. They denounced Syrian President Bashar al Assad and, what they consider, the silence of the Arab and International community.
في الغوطة الشرقية المحاصرة القصف لا يهدأ. يلجأ الناس الى استخدام علف المواشي وحبوب الذرة المتعفنة لصناعة الخبز. حاجة السكان للكهرباء جعلتهم يبحثون عن سبل بدائية لتوليد الطاقة عبر صناعات يدوية. وبعد توقف معظم المستشفيات عن العمل، تحل النساء مكان الطواقم الطبية بعد الالتحاق بدورات تدريبية على الاسعافات الاولية.
Video shot in the month of December 2013 depicting conditions in eastern Ghouta, an area near Damascus under the control of Syrian rebels.
Includes the following elements:
- Artillery and aerial bombing strikes on buildings in Ghouta. - Damage to buildings from the bombing strikes. - Sand bags and barrels to protect against bombing strikes. - First aid class teaching women how to treat the wounded and prepare medications. - Pushing cars and riding bicycles because of a shortage of gasoline. - Using bicycles to charge car batteries for electrical power - Using windmills to create electricity. - Corn husks, kernels and beans to be ground into flour for bread. - People clamoring to buy bread in a bakery. - Cooking on fires in the street. - Chopping firewood to burn for heat. - Transporting water to homes.
1- Kids looking to the military jet
2- Jet striking
3- Airstrike hitting a building
4- Airstrike hitting a building
5- Smoke coming out of a stroke building
6- Airstrike to a building
7- Airstrike to a building
8- Airstrike to a building
9- Smoke coming out of a stroke building
10- Sand bags in front of some shops
11- Rocket hitting a building
12- A shop with some rocks replacing the front door glass
13- A window with plastic shelters replacing the glass
14- Broken pieces of glass on the street
15- A rocket hitting an building
16- A rocket hitting an building
17- A rocket hitting an building
18- Sand bags and barrels in front of a shop
19- Sand bags and barrels in front of a shop
20- Sand bags and barrels in front of a shop
21- A damaged building with a man standing on the balcony
22- Broken windows of a building
23- Broken windows of a building
24- Broken pieces of glass on the street
25- Broken windows of a building
26- Sand bags in front of a shop
27- Barrels in front of a shop with a broken front door glass
28- Some people coming in to the shop protected by barrels
29-Sound bite - Abu El Fowz – grocery store owner
I am the owner of this shop and because of the large number of customers we had to fortify the place with barrels in order to protect them, protect the children and protect ourselves. Many people died in front of my shop so we set this protection so that people coming in will be protected.
30-Sound bite - Abu Thaer – Factory employee
We are pretty much used to the shelling these days. Before when a shell hit, or there was gunfire or the security forces were invading you could see everyone running for shelter. Now people don’t care as much, what is there more than death? Death occurs once. We are being shelled daily, a couple of days ago a Mig plane hit us over there. Here are the streets; this is our daily life, film as much as you want no one really cares anymore. What more is he going to do to us? He tried to hit us with Rocket launchers, Scud missiles and Mig planes and he couldn’t defeat us, he will not be able to defeat us. God’s will is above all of this.
31-Abu Mohammad – plumber
Despite all the shelling that West Ghouta witnessed, forty shells a day, with missiles and warplanes we are not concerned. Our main concern is to break the siege over West Ghouta; our concern is the piece of bread we have to secure for our children. He can shell as much as he wants; just break the siege so we can feed the children.
32- medical equipment
33-A woman taking notes
34-A woman preparing a natural medicine out of honey and some creams
35-First aid trainer giving medical tips to some women
36-First aid trainer giving medical tips to some women
37-Women attending a first aid training session
38-First aid trainer giving tips to some women
39-Women attending a first aid training session
40-Sound bite - First Aid Trainer
If a man gets hit by a sniper in front of me, what can I do for him? As first aid, we have to stop the bleeding. I put gauze on the places of entrance and exit of the bullet, and then I wrap an ace bandage tightly around the wound. That is all I can do. I can't do anything but wrap his wounds tight with gauze and ace bandage to stop the bleeding.
41-Sound bite – A trainee trying to apply some of the tips she just learned
We empty the needle from bubbles. Then after arranging the head we empty the air that's inside. We divide the heart into four parts; we take the upper right chamber. We put in in the catheter fully, and then apply pressure with a finger here so the blood won't pour out. We pull off its cover and pull it out and the catheter will be ready. Then you tape it from both sides.
43- Man walking while he’s pushing his bike and a taxi car (out of oil)
44-Man walking with his bike holding a sack that contains vegetables
45-Kid trying to produce electric field out of his bike
46-Men on their bicycles
47- A man trying to fix an electric wire
48-A man fixing an electric wire in a battery
49-A man placing electric wires
50-A battery connected to a bike through electric wires
51-A man rolling the bike pedals to recharge the batteries
52- Men rolling the bike pedals to recharge the batteries
53-Boys rolling the bike pedals to recharge the batteries
54-Boy rolling the bike pedals to recharge the batteries
55-Boys rolling the bike pedals to recharge the batteries
56- Handmade Fan that uses wind to generate electric field
57- Handmade Fan that uses wind to generate electric field
58-tilt down for the handmade Fan that uses wind to generate electric field
59-Shavers connected to a battery
60-A bakery using the handmade fan to generate electricity and turn on the light
61-The wind is turning the fan connected with wired
62-Fan in function
63- Fan in function
64-lamps in the ceiling
65-lamps connected to batteries
66-Some people in a crowded shop shouting and trying to get bread
67-Some people in a crowded shop shouting and trying to get bread
68-Some deserts made out of milk on a table in the street
69-Cooker over rocks and fire in the street
70-A boy cooking some food in the street
71-Beet being boiled in water
72-Peel of corncobs
58-Man peeling the corncob
59-Peel of corncobs
60- Man cutting wood
61-Man cutting wood with a tree branch in the foreground
62- low angle shot for the street with rocks and snow in the foreground
63-Cabbage on the floor
64-Corn grinder in function
65-A sign that locates the grindery
66-A hand showing grains
68- grinded corns
69-flour made out of corncob peel and corns
70-Men pushing a barrel filled with water
Story Title: Regime Forces open Harasta gates in Beseiged Eastern Ghouta for Two Hours
Date: March 6, 2014
Location: Harasta, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus
Storyline: Regime forces deliberatly opened a gate in Harasta, the besieged eastern Gouta, in northern Damascus, for two hours, and took out the civilians that were trapped under the seige. The gate was then closed, allowing the flooding of a hundred and fifty thousand civilians from neighboring towns, hoping to escape the beseiged area. The roads and the gardens were overflowing with helpless civilians. They chose not to appear in the interviews, fearing that they will get arrested and never get the chance to cross over.
Abou Mahmoud Fahr – Major General “Fath Al Sham”
2:00 – 3:17 “The regime soldiers never opened a gate anywhere, not in Harasta nor in the camps nor in Mleiha. The gates that were opened almost a year ago are now are all closed. They opened the gate for two hours, took advantage of the situation, shot at the civilians, injured a couple. Others were put at gunpoint and were forced to cheer for the regime and Bashar Al Assad. Around a hundred and fifty thousand people have been stranded on the streets since last night, children, women, elderlies, and none were allowed to pass through. We threatened and told them the civilians are a 3rd party, and are not involved between us and the spoilt regime. The war is between us, and not the civilians. We need to make sure of their safety, and guarantee a shelter for them in a refugee camp, allow them to access schools”
Soldier in the FSA
3:18 – 3: 54 They opened the road for us, two days ago, for two hours only. They opened them only to take photographs. They got their cameras ready, put up their flags and images of Bashar Al Assad. They said they will not let us through until we cheer on Bashar Al Assad. They put the children and the women in the women and forced them to do so. They opened the gates for two hours just to show the world that they are evacuating the people of Al Gouta. Look, the whole Gouta population is in Harasta now. Harasta is filled with people, who were sleeping on the streets the night before. Young children were sleeping on the streets and the destroyed buildings.
Abou Haitham – Leader in “Fath Al Sham”
3:55 – 4:12 We received classified information that Bashar Al Assad forces are increasing security in all of Damascus and are planning on capturing civilians exiting Eastern Gouta. We are a hundred percent sure of this information. It is from a trusted source.
Various shots of: Civilian women and children overcrowding the streets
Various shots of: The FSA army trying to protect and secure the civilians
Various shots of: Cars carrying the civilians
Various shots of: Large crowd of civilians
Farmers in rebel-controlled Douma, northeast of Damascus, are finding creative ways to run their irrigation machines in lieu of a steady supply of gas. They, along with other locals, are now using trash and animal remains to extract methane gas from waste as a source of alternative energy.
This video shows the specific process of making this gas, from filling a hole in the ground with the waste, adding water, and covering it after with plastic bags. They then wait for the methane gas to be produced. Using tubes, they transport the gas into tanks and reservoirs.
Adnan Mbayyed - Agriculture Engineer
Currently, we found an alternative solution for producing energy by using gas holes in specific measurements, which depend on what we want to use it for. The hole is approximately 3-4 meters wide, and 75 cm. deep. Cow feces and some plants and grass are put in the hole and tightly covered with plastic. We water this combination, and due to the reaction of the material inside the plastic cover, methane gas is produced. This gas gets filtered and sent either directly to the generator, or to the ovens to be used for cooking.
Abo Aboud - Farmer
After I saw how expensive gas has become, and I needed to use my generator for watering my plants and animals, the local committee told me about this alternative and they taught me how to do this hole to produce gas. Because of this hole, now I am watering my land, and my animals have water to drink, and I also have gas to be used at home as well.
Abo Aboud - Farmer
This hole is in its final stages. Everyday, the gas it produces helps us get our generators working so we can extract water from the ground.
B-Roll from Ghouta, Damascus
Seven months after the Sarin gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on August 21st, 2013, some survivors speak out. Estimates of the death toll range between 300 to more than one thousand. The attack was blamed on the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
Om Mahmoud – Medic
''This is the road I take everyday for work and on the day of the attack it was really hard to see here, it was all covered in fog. A missile hit over there and another one over here, they were car accidents cause the people couldn’t see anything. There were bodies everywhere; we were basically walking on corpse. We didn’t know what to do; we didn’t expect the chemicals to be dropped in these proportions. We did all we can do to help and save people. I hope we saved lots of lives.''
Name – Profession: Om Mahmoud – Medic
''The strike happened at 2:30 in the morning, 2 passed 10 we saw the missiles in the air. At first we thought it was regular chemical weapons, which will give us 3 or 4 martyrs only, like they always hit us with. Of course no one believes that they’re using chemical weapons on us. We took the people to the roofs, thinking that the chemicals stay on the ground, cause it’s heavy. Then people started calling for everyone to leave Zamalka, I was like, I’m medical staff, I have to stay here. All the way here the road was covered in fog and ambulances. I arrived to this area; there were corpses and car accidents everywhere. Here hit the first shell close to the hospital, and there was a huge amount of martyrs here. We were forced to walk on the corpses so we could save some people. At the end we couldn’t even see the needles that we were supposed to use. We did all we could, to help the children and women. Finally we were hit as well; our nervous system was hit at the hospital. Another shell hit the same area here next to the hospital, and we couldn’t do or feel anything. We couldn’t see or here, our nerves were not functioning. It took me two days to recover, I was one of the first people vomiting blood, and the doctors were surprised. There were other cases too, different ones since there were thousands of people who were hit, and children were hit. It was really horrible; whoever didn’t see this can’t imagine what it was like. There were bodies everywhere, we were taking them and putting them in cars, I was bleeding and vomiting blood. I was affected by the chemical, I feel like I have the flu constantly and I’m experiencing hair loss. I’m affected by the chemical, it’s for good. No one believed us; they think we’re imagining all this. Whatever we say it’s not enough. If we buried the children and elderly, if Buthayna Shaaban and come and see. They think we played them; it’s Bashar al Assad who played us.
Interviewer: What are the after effects of the strike?
Om Mahmoud: Everybody is suffering from depression. There is not a single home that didn’t lose a family member. There are families where only one person is left alive. You see those people have completely lost their minds. I know someone in that situation. You can see him walk down the street and he’s completely disillusioned. His brothers, sisters and parents are all gone. Families as they were sleeing all died. Some bodies were found after several days, once the chemical dispersed from the air. All this is a lesson for us, so we’d know that the regime is corrupt and everyone supports it. They think we’re not from this earth, we’re residents of Mars.
Interviewer: Did you lose anyone?
Om Mahmoud: I didn’t lose anyone from my family but I lost lots of colleagues and friends. In Eastern Ghouta, a lot of people died. At least 6 people from the medical center, where I work, died. Sadly.''
''On the day of the chemical attacks, we were sleeping, so were the civilians. Some of the revolutionaries were on the frontline and at 2:30 in the morning, they hit us with chemical weapons. We felt it and went outside and found people dying so we called for first aid to come and help the people in these towns. Hundreds of people were affected, children, women and men. We were working in aiding people, driving back and forth and getting the affected. Some people died from the shelling as they were being transported, they hit the area with missiles and rockets. They hit us with everything there is and destroyed the buildings and the streets, so that ambulances wouldn’t be able to transport the people. The shelling kept going for three days, with rockets and warplanes, on Zamalka. Thank to God though the army wasn’t able to move forward.
Interviewer: Were any children martyred?
FSA Fighter: Children are dying here because of the chemical attack, and there is around a 1000, 1500 martyrs that were taken from Zamalka.
Interviewer: What are the psychological and other effects?
FSA Fighter: The effect is that you walk around here and not see anyone, everyone left. Young people, men and children, all left, there’s no one left. You walk around here and find yourself alone. You tell yourself this is this person’s house and that is that family’s but no one left here.''
''Child One: I was in Zamalka at home.
Interviewer: What did you feel when the chemical strike happened?
Child One: I felt like my eyes got affected and my stomach started to hurt.
Interviewer: Was anyone from your family hit?
Child one: My dad and two of my uncles.
Interviewer: Did they get wounded or were they martyred?
Child one: They were martyred?
Interviewer: How did your dad die?
Child one: My dad was working in first aid and while he was doing his job he suddenly fell down to the floor.
Interviewer: Did you see your dad getting killed?
Child One: I didn’t see him except in the photographs.''
''Interviewer: Where were you during the chemical attacks?
Child Two: I was at home in Zamalka.
Interviewer: What were you doing during the attack?
Child Two: I was sleeping.
Interviewer: What did you feel during the attack.
Child Two: I didn’t feel anything; I woke up and found out that a lot of people died, including family.
Interviewer: Did the chemicals affect you?
Child Two: No they didn’t
Interviewer: Did anyone from your family die?
Child Two: My uncle and my grandparents were martyred, and two other uncles were hit but they were hospitalized and survived.
Interviewer: What can you say about your uncle and grandparents?
Child Two: They used to loves us a lot, and we used to visit them often. It really saddened us.''
''Interviewer: Where were you during the chemical attacks?
Child Three: In Zamalka at home.
Interviewer: What were you doing during the attack?
Child Three: I was sleeping
Interviewer: What happened after the attack?
Child Three: I woke up and went to my grandma’s; I waited there and ended up at the hospital.
Interviewer: Did anything happen to any of your relatives?
Child Three: Only my aunt, my dad and my cousin died.
Interviewer: What do you have to say about your dad?
Child Three: He used to love us a lot, and we used to play together and go out''
''Interviewer: Where were you during the chemical attack?
Child Four: I was asleep at home.
Interviewer: What did you feel when the chemical attack happened?
Child Four: I didn’t feel anything I just woke up.
Interviewer: The chemical didn’t affect you?
Child Four: My eyes started hurting.
Interviewer: Did anything happen to any of your relatives?
Child Four: Both my brothers.
Interviewer: What happened?
Child Four: They were martyred''
''Until the first aid team arrived, we stayed for around two hours at home; they arrived and found us inside. We couldn’t see clearly, we were nauseous and were experiencing difficulty breading and coughing unnaturally. They took us out of the area and gave us the proper medicine.
Interviewer: Who got martyred or got hit in your family?
Man: No one was martyred in the family thank God, but we were all hit. Around 19 of us and our neighbor and his family and my friend wife came over, we were around 23 people in there.
Interviewer: Are you suffering from any side effects?
Man: Thank God no.
Interviewer: What about ant psychological effect?
Man: This one of course, we were shocked to witness our friends and neighbors killed. Every road we took, we saw someone we know who was dead. It was saddening.''
• Various shots of: Damaged buildings and cars • Shot of: President Bashar Al Assad on groung • Various shots of: Cemetary where most of the chemical attack victims were buried • Various shots of: ''The Grand Mosque of Zamalka'' • Various shots of: People in Streets • Various shots of: Om Mahmoud (the medic), • Various shots of: Caricature, drawings and paintings by Om Mahmoud • Various shots of: FSA Fighter • Various Shots of: Children
August 21, 2013
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus
Eastern Ghouta in the Damascus countryside was hit on the 21st of August, 2013, by Sarin gas that led to the deaths of more than 1300 people. The Syrian opposition blamed the government for perpetrating the chemical massacre, the government denied in using any such weapons and the Syrian official news agency 'SANA' claimed that reports about a chemical attack on Ghouta are incorrect.
This video was shot on the night of the chemical attack on many areas of the opposition help Eastern Ghouta. Few moments after the attack, the inhabitants of the targeted areas started to arrive to makeshift field hospitals, suffering from respiratory and neural problems.
Bodies of children and adults laid out inside and outside of the field hospitals awaiting a mass burial service. The video also includes shots of the mass burial on the morning of the attack. Also shots of the UN mission entering Eastern Ghouta in convoys to investigate the use of chemical weapon.
The cost of Syria's civil war is high, with the human cost well over 100,000. Along with conflict comes the inevitable loss of necessities, such as water, electricity and communication. In this video collection, there are four different videos that show the innovative way people are dealing with this lack of necessities, from the building of a manual water pump to homemade cell phone antennas.