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Opposition Held Douma Under Syrian Re...
Douma, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
27 Jul 2015

Walaa al-Saour was pregnant when killed in the airstrike. Doctors were able to save her eight months pre-mature baby.

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Opposition Held Douma Under Syrian Re...
Douma, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
27 Jul 2015

Walaa al-Saour was pregnant when killed in the airstrike. Doctors were able to save her eight months pre-mature baby.

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Opposition Held Douma Under Syrian Re...
Douma, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
27 Jul 2015

Walaa al-Saour was pregnant when killed in the airstrike. Doctors were able to save her eight months pre-mature baby.

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Opposition Held Douma Under Syrian Re...
Douma, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
27 Jul 2015

Walaa al-Saour (covered in the background of the picture) was pregnant when killed in the airstrike. Doctors were able to save her eight months pre-mature baby.

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Opposition Held Douma Under Syrian Re...
Douma, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
27 Jul 2015

Walaa al-Saour was pregnant when killed in the airstrike. Doctors were able to save her eight months pre-mature baby.

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PHOTOS: Bashar al-Assad
Damascus
By lukas.goga
08 Jul 2015

Photos of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the presidential palace in Damascus.

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Syria: Battling Cancer in Besieged Gh...
Eastern Ghouta
By Jawad Arbini
10 Jun 2015

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.

Transcription:

  • (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.

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Hunting to Survive in Besieged Ghouta
Eastern Ghouta, Syria
By Jawad Arbini
09 May 2015

May 9, 2015
Eastern Ghouta, Syria

Desperate for food and left with little resources, the residents of besieged Eastern Ghouta, east of Damascus, are hunting to survive.
44 year old Abu Adnan and 42 year old Abu Munther used to hunt as a hobby.
But following the 2011 uprising, the situation in their home area of Eastern Ghouta has critically changed. It has been two years since the opposition-held area has been besieged by the forces of the Assad regime.
Now, Abu Adnan and Abu Munther, who lost their jobs as construction workers, are obliged to hunt in order to feed their children. They can barely get 20 to 40 birds per day.
In addition to their daily struggle, the bullets in the besieged area are rare and very expensive and the hunters have to hand-make their own shotgun cartridges.

TRANSCRIPT

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man)Abu Andnan, Bird Hunter
02:57 – 03:46
“We are out hunting today. We set up the machine at night and we came to hunt quails. We do this every day. We set up the machine at night and go during the day to hunt because we do not have any work. We also do this to provide food for our families. We hunt about 30 to 40 birds a day, which are nothing. They are not enough to make a meal. They are half a meal. Our livelihood depends on God; some days we get a duck, a chicken, a big or a small bird. On some days we get a raven, which is bitter and cannot be eaten, but we are forced to eat it, given the situation and the siege under which we are living.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Munther, Bird Hunter
03:47 – 04:12

“We are hunting because of the siege and lack of work. We hunt about 20 to 30 birds. We pluck them and feed them to our children. This is because of the lack of work and the siege, as you can see for yourself. Q: How does hunting before the revolution differ from hunting after it?
A: There is a big difference. Before the revolution we used to go out hunting for fun; now it is a primary necessity.”

04:13 – 04:30
“Q: Do you face any difficulties in filling cartridges? A: We are facing a lot of difficulties. There is a lack of needed material. We have to fix the machines by hand to be able to do this work. It would cost us too much to buy them readymade; we cannot afford them.”

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Even the dead cannot escape the bombi...
Yarmouk Camp
By Rame ALsayaed
17 Apr 2015

The bodies of killed Yarmouk Camp residents, which have been discovered under the rubble, had to be buried in a playground because the main cemetery was plowed by air bombing.
Syrian government forces bombed the camp with explosive barrels at the same time as heavy clashes pitted ISIS fighters against various Palestinian and Syrian militias.

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Yarmouk Camp Residents Suffer Bombing...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
10 Apr 2015

Yarmouk Camp (Damascus), Syria
April 10, 2015

This video shows the aftermath of air bombing carried out by Syrian government forces on Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees, located in the outskirts of Damascus.
Interviewed camp residents aired their frustration, saying that the bombing has added to their to their long suffering due to a military siege by Syrian government forces and a dire shortage of food supplies, which has lasted for the past four years.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various night shots of destroyed buildings

VOICE OVER (Arabic)
00:16 – 00:21
“This is the aftermath of barrel bombs dropped on Yarmouk camp by regime forces after midnight.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
00:26 – 01:12

“I was sleeping at home in the lounge. There was suddenly falling; something very loud was falling. As I lifted my head to see what was going on, I felt an earthquake… it was something like an earthquake. Something hit… as my head was up something hit me in the face. What was that? I did not know. I looked around and I saw dust. I opened the door and walked outside and started to shout, calling on the neighbors. One said, ‘I’m hit’ while the other did not answer. The one who did not answer me, may God rest his soul. He has been martyred.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
01:13 – 01:55

“People were sleeping in peace. Are there any fighters here? Are there any rifles or mortars? Civilians were crushed under explosive barrels. Fear God! Have fear for God, Bashar! See how the civilians have been torn to pieces at the hospital – Palestine Hospital. Have fear for God, people. There are no fighters here. All the people here are civilians and children. Where can people go? We are suffering! We are suffering from hunger and thirst, and now you bomb us with explosive barrels at night? God is sufficient for us and He is the best guardian.”
[Standing next to dead cat] “We want to safeguard animal rights, not human rights. Westerners consider animals to be sacred.”

Wide of smoke rising during daytime

VOICE OVER (Arabic)
01:55 – 02:01

“God is greatest! Regime forces are bombing Yarmouk camp intensely. God is greatest!”

Wide of severely damaged buildings during daytime
Various of civilians walking amid the rubble

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
03:10 – 05:05

“I am an old woman. I am 70 years old. I have been under siege alone for four years. My only son is outside the camp. My name is Um Mohamad. My only son and four daughters are outside the camp. We are suffering a lot. This is enough. We need bread, anything to feed on. I live in hunger. I am alone at home. What is happening to us is pitiful. We have had enough. We have suffered a lot we left Palestine and we are still suffering, while the entire world is standing against us. What is happening to us is pitiful. It is really pitiful. I do not have any energy to walk. Whenever I stand up I fall again. I live in the camp on my own.
This is outrageous! Until when will this keep going? All the other towns are receiving food – Beit Sahm, Yalda and Babilla – they have everything they need.
They say that we are receiving food aid; this is a lie. God is witness that we are not even getting a piece of bread or an egg. God knows where this food ends up.
I live on my own, and no one has knocked on my door to give me a loaf of bread or an egg. What is happening to us is pitiful. They should open the road before us. I want to leave; I do not want to stay here anymore. I have had enough. If they open the road I will leave. I stayed here to guard my house, because I have suffered a lot in my life and my husband 40 years ago. I struggled to build this three-story house and raise orphaned children. I cannot leave to be looted.
For God’s sake, find a solution for our camp. We have had enough. This is pitiful. What can I say? Everything is befalling the camp. Everything is befalling Palestinians. What have we done to deserve this?
This is outrageous. Everybody has a decent life except for us. What is our fault?”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
05:05 – 05:32

“We have been under siege in the camp for four years. We have not gotten anything. We have not received any aid. All the organizations are giving aid to Beit Sahm and Babilla. We shall remain steadfast in Yarmouk camp. We thank you, Ahmed Majdalani [Palestinian Authority envoy to Syria], for the gifts you have sent three or four days ago. You have done this instead of giving us food or securing the road for us.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
05:33- 06:17

“We live in the Yarmouk camp. We will not leave our homes, no matter what happens; even if they keep bombing us with barrels until we die. We want to eat and drink. Organizations are distributing food in Yalda and Babilla because they move there. We went there and registered our names, but we were told that only people living at schools can receive food. What about people living under bombing? What about someone who does not want to leave his home? They should open a safe road and let food in. We are suffering to get food. Only people with money can secure electricity. The problem is the same with water; you would have to keep going back and forth, carrying water with containers to be able to fill half a tank. How will this situation end?”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:18 – 06:37

“We are civilians, living in Yarmouk camp. We have children and sick people. Treatment is not available. We do not have food or water. Let them open the road for us. We need to eat and drink. They should give us aid. We do not have food. What can we do? We cannot leave our homes. If we leave our homes our problem will even bigger.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:38 – 06:42

“God willing, we will stay in the camp until we either die or return to Palestine.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:42 – 07:15

“When we left Palestine I was seven years old. But I will not leave Yarmouk camp, now that I am 76 years old. Yarmouk camp is my soul. I dug its ground with my own hands. I transported construction material over my head to build my house – one building block at a time. I dug the foundations with my own hands. We shall remain steadfast in the camp, whatever happens.”

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Aftermath of an Airstrike in Ma'art A...
Maarrat Al-Nu'man
By Omar Alwan
08 Apr 2015

Photos show the aftermath and rescue efforts following an alleged airstrike by Syrian regime helicopters at residential neighborhoods in the heart of Ma'art Al-nu'man, a city in northwest Syria on the highway between Damascus and Aleppo, resulting in at least 4 civilian deaths.

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Syrian Kurdish Refugees Find a Home i...
Akre
By Mat Wolf
20 Mar 2015

March 20, 2015
Akre, Iraqi Kurdistan 


Housed inside a former detention facility, Syrian Kurds who fled fighting in their homeland are doing their best to restore normalcy in their lives in the mountainous Iraqi Kurdish city of Akre in the Dohuk government.
 
At the Akre settlement for Syrian Kurds—housed inside a former prison and Baathist military base—parents look on as their children run around the facility’s courtyard setting off fireworks. Youngsters are also working on a mural covering part of the two-story, yellow brick facility’s walls and stairwells in an art project sponsored by the Rise Foundation NGO and local teachers. Cartoon characters, animals and hearts are popular themes in the artwork.
 
“I like the trees, flowers, woods—the natural views,” says English teacher and fellow refugee Nazim Qamr, 29. He adds he’d prefer the children avoid cartoon characters, but it’s not up to him.
 
“We ask the children and listen to their opinions about what they like and don’t like,” Qamr says. 
 
As rays of sun occasionally poke through the clouds on an otherwise gloomy March 20, Iraqi Kurdistan’s mountains and postcard beauty makes it easy to forget the Akre settlement is a refugee camp. Housing just under 1,500 people—many of them small children—its residents are afforded small apartments converted from prison cells, and many admit they’re superior to the UN tents and ad-hoc structures that define many of the region’s refugee camps.
 
“They gave each family a room,” says 24-year-old English teacher Kawther Ahmed, originally from Damascus. She came to Akre with her family a year and a half ago, and said camp administrators from Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government have done their best to ensure the Syrian Kurds feel welcome. “Compared to the tents, this building is better than the tents,” she says.
 
Because the Syrians at Akre have been taken in by their fellow Kurds, they’re also allowed more privileges than the local government typically allows non-Kurdish refugees. Residents of the Akre settlement are allowed to freely come and go from the camp once they’ve filed residency paperwork, and can seek work in the local community. But despite some advantages given to Kurdish refugees in Kurdish territory, many of Akre’s Syrians still bear the scars of their homeland’s complex civil war, and have faced difficulties in adjusting to life in Iraq.
 
Adnan Mahmoud, 35, says he is originally a mechanic from Qamishli who fled the forces of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and came to Iraq a year and half ago. Since that time he’s developed a cataract in his left eye, and he says he’s gone partially blind. “It’s a simple surgery, but they don’t have doctors here to do it, and I’ve filed paperwork to go to a hospital that can, but nothing’s working,” he says.

He adds his young daughter Haifa has suffered a knee injury, and has had an X-ray done, but she also needs surgery and the refugees at Akre can’t find basic medical care.
 
Mahmoud’s friend and neighbor Samir Mohamed Saleh, 31, is a former restaurant worker who lived in both Syria and Lebanon before fleeing to Iraq a year and a half ago. He adds that in addition to insufficient medical care, work opportunities for Syrian Kurds in Iraq are limited and low paying.
 
They both say they’d like to be able to find real, serious work like they had in Syria. Like other men in the camp, they’ve found work packing and loading gravel, but they say the salary is poor and the work exhausting, sometimes for as little as $1.30 a day.
 
“We need real work, we need self-respect,” Samir says.
 
He adds however he thinks the Iraqi Kurds have been gracious, and that at least in Akre he has a roof over his head and food to eat.
 
“It’s good here, we have bread, electricity, food and water,” he says. “The Kurds in Iraq have helped us a lot, I mean we’re the same nation, but we still need more.” 

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Syrians Scrape a Living in Jordan (1 ...
Jarash
By Camilla Schick
12 Mar 2015

As Syria’s civil war enters its fifth year, nine million people have been displaced, with 3.7 million of those having fled the country. Millions of Syrian refugees are scraping by in neighboring countries.

Jordan has registered 600,000 refugees – constituting almost 10% of the Hashemite Kingdom’s total population of 6.6 million, though the actual number may be much higher. One fifth now live in refugee camps, including Za'atari camp, the second largest in the world. It's illegal for them to leave Jordan's now overcrowded and increasingly insecure refugee camps, but many are now making the leap to urban areas, seeking work and a better life. Some Syrian families who fled to Jordan at the start of the war are fairing better than others who've arrived more recently. But they’re still struggling to survive beyond the camps, without enough allowance from the UN nor local charities to pay for food and medical care, or taking their chances with working illegally.

Despite not being legally entitled to work, many have taken up jobs at local shops at the discretion of Jordanian employers, while others are too afraid to leave their homes and are surviving on as little as 13 dinars ($18) per person per month from the UN.

UN REPORT
A recent UNHCR urban report, entitled ‘Living in the Shadows’ in January this year, based on 150,000 Syrian refugees living outside of Jordan’s camps, concluded that two thirds of the refugees now in urban areas are living below Jordan’s poverty line. 1/6 are living in abject poverty barely surviving off the equivalent of 1.3 dollars per person per day. The UN has expressed grave concern that refugees are now turning desperate measures to make ends meet, with children dropping out of school and even women turning to prostitution.

STORY:
This is the ancient Jordanian city of Jerash, 50 kilometres north of the capital Amman. It’s now home to approximately 8,000 Syrian refugee families / 50,000 refugees.

34-year-old Ali and his younger brother Mohammed work shifts at a local coffee and tea shop. Living as refugees has put a huge strain on Ali's marriage, and he is now separated from his wife, and rarely gets to see his young son. He says they used to live in Al Midan, an affluent Sunni suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus. But when fighting between the Assad government forces and Syrian rebels began in their neighborhood, the family took the heart-wrenching decision to prepare to leave the country. Being the eldest, Ali headed to Jordan first to set things up for the rest of the family. Mohammed and his parents followed after.

The brothers live with their mother Yusra, who warmly invites us into their two-bedroom one-floor home. Yusra was recently widowed. Their father died of health complications shortly after joining them in Jordan. They know how terrible the living conditions are for those now living in Jordan’s over-crowded refugee camps. They tell us they consider themselves among the luckier refugees, who arrived in Jordan almost four years ago at the start of the conflict, having found work and a place to live.

Jordanian shop owner Khaled says he hired the brothers not only because Syrians will work for a lower wage, but also because he wants to help the refugees who are desperately seeking work. He says the Jordanian authorities are fairly lax when it comes to illegal refugee workers. He says all Arabs are brothers, and need to help Syrians until its safe enough for them to return home.

NOTES
We chose to focus the interview on the elder brother – Ali
Their mother, Yusra, did not want us to film her face

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The Destruction of Damascus' Eastern ...
Unnamed Road, Irbin,Syria
By abdalmanamissa
03 Mar 2015

A series of photographs charting the destruction of several eastern suburbs of Damascus that fell under rebel control and were subsequently shelled and bombed by government forces. 

 

 

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Desperate Living Conditions in Rebel-...
Jobar
By abdalmanamissa
26 Feb 2015

Jobar, Syria
February 26, 2015

The Damascus suburb of Jobar has been transformed into a devastated ghost town after more than more than two years of heavy battles between government and opposition fighters have failed to bring decisive victory to either side.

The very few civilians who remain in the neighborhood gather broken doors and furniture from wrecked homes to provide firewood.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

R-L pan of destroyed building
Traveling of road
Traveling of tunnel
Traveling of three children amid destruction
Various traveling of streets
Various of man chipping wood
Various/ traveling of roads
Wide of two women walking amide destroyed buildings
Various/ traveling of roads
Wide of destroyed building
Wide/ zoom in of two children carrying wood
Various of men sitting around a fire
Wide of fighters
Close-up of axe chopping wood
Wide/ zoom out of men carrying large bags

04:00 – 04:47

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmed, a fighter in Jobar Neighborhood

“As you can see, there are no civilians. There is no firewood nor any other means of heating. There is no electricity or diesel. All of this disappeared a long time ago. [NAT Sound: Heavy gunshot]. People come under shelling and shooting as they gather firewood. They take wood from wrecked houses and cut down trees – anything that can be used to provide heating because there is no diesel. People of all ages are doing what it takes to manage. They come all the way from over there. God, not us, is protecting them. They gather some firewood and then leave. The situation is extremely tragic. It is more difficult for civilians than it is for us.“

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed fighter in Jobar Neighborhood
04:48 – 05:36

“As you can see, dear brother, the situation is deplorable. People suffer from the lack of fuel and other basic necessities needed for heating and cooking. People are using wood from homes, which, as you can see, have been bombed, especially in Jobar. There are many destroyed homes. In general, Jobar has entirely been destroyed. People use any available wood from doors, window shutters and furniture. Everything is ruined and people go out to gather wood to provide heating for their children and prepare food. People undergo a lot of risk while doing this, under shelling from rockets and from warplanes.”

Wide of smoke rising as a result of bombing

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File photos of destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Civilians from Rebel-held Ghouta Flee...
Qudssaya,Syria
By AmmarParis
23 Feb 2015

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.

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Profiteering in Besieged Damascus
Ghouta,
By Jawad Arbini
02 Jan 2015

Eastern Ghouta has been besieged by Syrian government forces for more than a year and half. Some residents accuse local gold traders and money exchangers of taking advantage of the crisis. Traders buy golden jewelry for cheap from people who are in dire need of money, who sell their property in order to buy to food, residents say. This gold is then sold outside Ghouta for higher prices.
The price of food supplies is also manipulated by the same wholesalers. Basic foodstuffs can be sold at almost 10 times their original prices.
Recently, some traders in Ghouta started to deal with counterfeit currency (Syrian Pound, US Dollar, Euro and Saudi Riyal). Fake money was used by many people before it was detected by local pro-opposition committees that oversee the economy.
These officials also say that they are working on raising awareness among residents, asking them not to sell their golden jewelry for less than the usual price.

1 W/S of street from inside money exchange office
2 Shot of man weighting gold and calculating the weight

3 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abou Sariye, money exchange office owner

(00:18) In this shop we trade in gold. We sell and buy gold. We buy gold from people who sell it to us or from the people in need. They come to sell it here. We work on collecting gold from the people, we buy it from them and then we sell it to the wholesalers who work on getting the gold out of Ghouta. The price of gold varies from Ghouta to Damascus, almost 600 to700 Syrian Pounds (SYP) [per gram, around $3.3 to$3.8]. This rate was much bigger a year ago, it was around 1000 SYP, so wholesalers used to take advantage of the situation and come to buy it from Ghouta to make a profit (00:57)

4 Various of man looking at gold
5 Medium of gold bracelets and jewelry
6 Medium of gold weighting
7 Various of shop banners
8 Various of men counting money

9 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Monzer Abdel Aal, director of the Economic Office in Eastern Ghouta, a pro-opposition committee

(02:17) Wholesalers are taking advantage of the people’s situation due to the siege on Eastern Ghouta and the people’s need for money. People are forced to sell the gold they have, which they could have owned for decades. Because of the siege on Eastern Ghouta for more than a year and a half and the people’s need to cover daily expenses, they [the people] are forced to sell parts of their gold to wholesalers who unfortunately deal with Shabiha [regime thugs]. These wholesalers are taking advantage of the difference in the rate exchange between Damascus and Ghouta, where the rate can vary up to 1200-1300 SYP per gram, and of course they are not selling one or 20 grams, but hundreds of grams (03:12).

10 Various of men counting money

11 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Monzer Abdel Aal, Director of the Economic Office in Eastern Ghouta, a pro-opposition committee

(03:40) A committee is being formed at the moment in Eastern Ghouta to maintain a stable price of gold and dollar exchange rate, and even to [stop the circulation of] counterfeit currency. This committee might set up small scale bank that will fix the rate of dollar exchange and [regulate] the process of selling gold (04:06).

12 Various of men counting money

13 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Monzer Abdel Aal, Director in the Economic Office in Eastern Ghouta

(04:25) Monzer Abdel Aal: They are trying to inject the Dollar, even if counterfeit into the market without the supervision and the inspection of the regime, the Shabiha [regime thugs]. They are injecting large amounts of money that are being exchanged here, and the proof is that the exchange rate varies from Damascus to here around 6 Syrian Pounds (SYP).

14 Various of money
15 Various of the streets

16 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abou Abdo, citizen in Eastern Ghouta

(05:07) Wholesalers? May God get avenge them, because they are waging war on us; on our children and their lives. If a warplane bombs us we know that this is our enemy, but when wholesalers do this, they would be killing us and our children, and they are part of us. One day, they will punished for them (05:30).

17 Various of vegetables stalls

18 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abou Abdo, resident of Eastern Ghouta

(05:40) Bulgur wheat is the cheapest, for 1000 Syrian Pounds (SYP) [a kilogram]. A kilogram of sugar costs 3500 SYP. I swear this has never happened before, not even in Moscow (05:50).

19 Various inside a copper artifact shop
20 Various of men walking among rubble

21 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hajj Abdo, resident of Douma

(07:23) These are all antiquities, these are all from our house that we owned for long time ago. We opened a shop and we are selling these products. Nothing is left in our house, and parts of the house fell due to the bombing. I am selling things that are more than 200 years old and owned by my great grandfather for cheap so I can buy bread. All of these have great value, but no one knows their value here and I am forced to sell them for cheap so I can buy food (08:04).

22 Various of destroyed house

23 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hajj Abdo, resident of Douma

(08:18) This house was bombed by the regime’s warplanes. The children died, the women died, the old men died, everybody died. Half of the house is destroyed. I inherited it from my great grandfather. It is around 500 years old, from the times of Mamluks (08:43).

24 Various of destroyed house backyard

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Under Siege: Ghouta Residents Struggl...
Eastern Ghouta
By Abdu al-Fadel
08 Dec 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Syria
December 2014

The rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus has been under a strict siege for more than two years. Government forces have banned almost every food item from entering the area.
This video shows local residents’ suffering in trying to provide their daily food.
People complain that bread has become unaffordable. To make sandwiches, they have to replace this staple food with other substances such as leafy vegetables or an apricot confection known as qamareddine, which is available for less than half the price of bread.

Shot List
1. M/S of street and men walking
2. C/S of vegetables and food
3. M/S of vegetables and food
4. C/S of bread with price (650 Syrian pounds per Kg)
5. M/S of child eating
6. M/S of child walking
7. C/S of men paying/purchasing
8. C/S of man cutting and weighing qamareddine (apricot confection)
9. C/S of child eating
10. Various of people packing and delivering qamareddine
11. W/S of streets
12. Various of people selling vegetables

13 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmad
(07:22) The price of bread is high now, around 650 or 700 Syrian pounds [per kilogram], so people decided to buy more vegetables. No one can afford the high prices now. People cannot even find work for 100 pounds, so they cannot pay 700 pounds for bread.
People are forced to go groves to pick mallows, chard and spinach to wrap olives with them for dinner – this is the the food that we can have.

Some people just boil spinach, add some oil to it and eat it without any eggs or meat.
This is all due to the siege the regime is imposing on us. God damn this regime, which is unjust to more than a million people in Eastern Ghouta. People are starving to death. Let have some mercy on us, God damn them! What can I say?

We are buying this [pack of apricot confection] for 200 Syrian pounds. We are wrapping cheese sandwiches for our kids with this.
We demand the nations who have a humanity and ethics to have compassion for kids and women, who are begging – when did our women and children ever beg? This is [our] reality life here, what else can I say (08:59).

14 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abu Mahrous
(09:00) Due to siege the regime is imposing on us, people tend to buy more vegetables now. We used to get rice, lentils and bulgar wheat from the camp, but their prices increased. For example, bulgar wheat is now 1,200 pounds [per kilogram] – bread costs around 700 pounds a kilogram. People are forced to buy chards and qamareddine. Bashar [al-Assad] and his aides and followers think they can besiege Ghouta, but God willing, we will remain strong, Ghouta is the land of wealth. We have enough lands to grow the food we need needs, and God will abandon us. After patience comes ease. God willing, we shall be victorious (10:09).

15 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Adnan Al Yafi

(10:10) People tend to buy more vegetables because one kilogram of bulgar costs 1700 pounds, and the same goes lentils and rice. The prices of basic supplies ingredients we use in our dishes went up and – what is worse – some of them are no longer available due to the siege. Could you imagine the price of the bread is more than 700 pounds [per kilogram], if you were lucky to find bread. But, thanks be to God, we are fine, even if we are using cabbage or chards instead of bread to make sandwiches and we are growing our own plants now to fulfill our daily needs. We have been besieged for three years now and nobody cares about us. But, thanks be to God, we are doing fine, despite the siege and the inflation we are facing. We hope for better days to come. Imagine that the cabbage and other vegetable leaves are primary ingredients for our dishes now to survive (11:50).

16 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abboud Al Arbini
(11:51): Two months ago, the roads were open blocked and it was much easier to deliver of all the products, so their prices were lower than now; sugar, rice, and everything else was cheaper than it is now. Now, as roads are blocked roads, the delivery of these products is harder, so their prices have gone up. Sugar now costs 2500 to 2800 pounds per kilogram, and a kilogram of rice costs 3,000 pounds 2,800 or 2,500 – it is sold for different prices. Now people are eating more qamareddine since it contains sugar, which the body requires. Other than qamareddine, people are eating vegetables such as chards because they are available in Ghouta. People have been unemployed for more than three years, so they need something cheap to eat. Chards or qamareddine are cheap and available in Ghouta (12:56).

(12:57) Flour used to cost 2,500 per kilogram, wheat cost 1000 pounds per kilogram and barley 700 pounds. With priuce hikes, people decided to buy qamareddine since it is cheaper. They are using qamareddine, chard or cabbage instead of bread to make sandwiches. Thanks be to God, we are able to grow these in Ghouta. God is merciful (13:43).

17 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Mohammad al-Qadi
(13:44) Due to the siege that is imposed on us and lack of basic ingredients to make bread, like flour, the price of bread has gone up to 700 pounds [per kilogram]. Who could afford it now? We have been under siege for three years now, unemployed, so we cannot afford to buy expensive food for our families. Most of the people tend to buy more vegetables since we can grow them in Ghouta, despite the siege and the price hike. God is granting us life, not Bashar al-Assad.

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FSA Fights to Protect Civil Status Re...
Damascus
By Mohamad al-jazaare
09 Nov 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Syria
November 2014

A Free Syrian Army (FSA) group took over the civil status registry near Damascus. The official building contains documents such as birth certificates, identity card application forms and marriage contracts.

FSA fighters claim that they moved the documents through tunnels to a safe location after discovering that part of them has been damaged by the fighting.

This footage shows the battle to take over the civil status office near Damascus and the official building from the inside. A large amount of personal status documents can be seen, some of them torn.

Fighters can be seen in the video carrying large bags of documents through tunnels.

Shot List

1 Wide of fighter shooting through hole.
2 Wide of fighters running to re-position.
3 Wide of fighters taking cover.
4 Medium of fighter shooting through hole.
5 Wide of fighters taking cover.
6 Wide of shooting machine gun mounted on vehicle.
7 Wide of smoke.
8 Wide of destroyed buildings.
9 Various of fighters running/ walking amid rubble

10 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) FSA commander Abu al-Jud

"We took over the civil registry office and the mosque. We advanced from the right side and took over Lamees area, and we also took over the Mazda company building. We are now very close to the municipality."

11 Close up of sign “Store” 12 Close up sign “Documents Certification”
13 Close up of writing on wall.
14 Close up of computers.
15 Close up of writing on wall.
16 Close up of ID cards.
17 Wide of inside building.
18 Various ID application forms for ID.
19 Close of birth certificate.
20 Various of torn documents.
21 Close up of broken ID, spent bullets on the floor.
22 Close up of IDs on the floor.
23 SOUNDBITE (Arabic. Man) FSA commander Mufid Abdel Hadi

"After liberating the civil registry office, we realized the importance of the documents that the regime tried to burn. We informed special committees about the documents and they confirmed that we need to recover them. We dug underground tunnels with the help of fighters and we took the documents to a safe place."

24 Medium of men taking documents out of bags
25 Close up of fighter taking documents out of bag.

26 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) FSA commander Abu al-Jud

“Some of these documents are burnt.”

27 Wide of registry books.
28 Various of torn documents.
29 Wide of fighters carrying bags through tunnel.
30 Various of documents.
31 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Uabada, Member of pro-opposition Legal Office

"We are now in the civil registry office for Damascus and its rural areas. We are at the front line of Erbeen, since it has been liberated by the fighters. The office is always a target for shelling and bombing by the regime. We found many important documents such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, and civil documents for people from Damascus and its rural areas. Not only for inhabitants of Erbeen, but also those from Kalamoon, Haramoon, and al-Yarmouk camp."

32 Various of fighters walking through tunnel.

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As Number of Deaths in Syria Rises, H...
Damascus
By mchreyteh
08 Oct 2014

October 2014
Old Damascus, Syria

Text by Youssef Zbib

In the tombstone masonries of Bab al-Jabiya souk in Old Damascus, smooth white marble blocks are stacked against the walls, waiting to go under skilled craftsmen’s hammers and chisels to become headstones engraved with scripture from the Quran.
Headstone carvers in this old souk say that demand for their products has increased since the start of the war in Syria.
“Before the events, we had an average amount of work. Clients asked for headstones for people who died of natural causes,” said Ziad, a headstone craftsman in Bab al-Jabiya. “Now, due to the events, our work has increased because there are martyrs. There have been more deaths here in Damascus, so we have had more work.” The number of deaths has indeed been very high. As the conflict nears its fourth year, the United Nations has estimated that at least 191,000 civilians and fighters have been killed in Syria between March 2011 and the end of April 2014.
Between 100 and 200 people, both civilians and military, are killed every day, according to reports by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other local monitoring groups. In a single attack, more than 1,300 people were killed in August 2013 when government forces used chemical weapons against rebel-controlled areas in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus. Deadly battles are still raging in this area, as government forces advance on rebel-held towns.
The battles following the blitz attack by ISIS in Syria’s east and northeast in June 2014 have also been very bloody. At least 400 people were killed in the battle over the city of Kobani from mid-September to early October 2014.
But the increasing demand for headstones does not necessarily mean that headstone carvers are making more profit. Due to the economic crisis, customers are asking for cheaper headstones.
“In the old days, people used long headstones. They considered them to be more beautiful and presentable. Today, people have different requirements,” said Samer, another headstone carver in the Bab al-Jabiya souk. According to Samer, people ask for shorter headstones because of their poor financial situation, and also ask for less engraving in order to pay less.
“Of course, prices differ,” said Samer. “High-relief carving costs more [than low-relief carving] because it takes more time to be done. The design at the top of the headstone – we call it “The Crown” – also affects the price. Some designs take two days to finish, others two hours, so the prices necessarily differ.” Moataz, who owns a tombstone masonry in the same souk, also says that although the demand for headstones has increased, it is not as high as he would expect it to be, given the high number of killings as a result of the fighting. Moataz believes that families of the deceased are not offering their beloved departed what they deserve.
“Some people postpone buying a headstone because, at the time of the burial, they are unable to afford it,” said Moataz. “Smaller headstones now replace large ones. Sometimes a single headstone is used to cover four or five graves.” In the areas most affected by the war, such as Deir Ezzor and eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, the dead are even “less fortunate” than those in Damascus. People use any available space to hastily bury the victims of daily bombing and gun battles, due to the high number of killings and fears that large gatherings of mourners might be killed in airstrikes themselves. Public parks and private gardens have become sites for unmarked graves.
A war economy
The emergent war economy has also fostered some professions that did not exist or were not developed before the war, like illegal money changing. The fluctuation of the Syrian pound’s exchange rate offered the opportunity for a currency black market in Damascus and Aleppo.
The government lost control over most the oil fields in Deir Ezzor and Hassaka provinces in the east and northeast, which allowed oil smugglers affiliated with armed groups to extract crude oil that is refined in makeshift distilleries and then sold in opposition-controlled areas or smuggled across the border to Turkey.
But many industries have been weakened by the conflict. Shops near the headstone workshops in Old Damascus have lost a many of their clients as the war has divided Syria’s territories and economy.

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Protecting an Ancient Damascus Synagogue
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
19 Sep 2014

September 19, 2014
al-Madares Street, Jobar, Damascus

Local citizens protect and maintain an ancient Jewish synagogue in the besieged Damascus suburb of Jobar, despite the heavy damage inflicted on it by heavy clashes between the FSA and Syrian Army. Located at the end of al-Madares street, the synagogue is believed to date from 720 BCE and was a temple for the prophet Khedr and prophet Elias.

The monument was largely neglected by the Syrian government before the war and has been damaged many times with mortars and bombs during the war. However, its local caretaker, and the inhabitants of the area continue to care for the building, as they have for decades.

Shot list:
Various shots show the location of the synagogue and the damage to the building.
Various shots show the remains of the synagogue, such as historical artifacts and some ancient writings
Various shots show an underground chamber that is said to have been used by prophet Khedr to pray
Various shots show the massive destruction that happened around the synagogue

Sound Bites:
Abu Loay, a member of the local committee of Jobar, interested in the issue of the synagogue, explains the story of the synagogue from its establishment to the present day.
(00:39)

Interviewer: How long have you had this job?

Abu Loay: We have been taking care of the synagogue for the past 2-3 years. There used to be a guard here, but he left after the problems started, and then the inhabitants of the area left, so we came here, the men and myself. We are taking care of it. The citizens and the elderly of this town asked us to stay here and guard the synagogue and until now, it has not been attacked.

Interviewer: How was the synagogue looking when you started working here?

Abu Loay: It was amazing, it had fence and it was an ancient historical monument, it goes back thousands of years.
Interviewer: Were there any Jews living in the area?

Abu Loay: Here in Jobar we did not have any Jews, but back in the days of our grandparents, we used to have Jews. When I was a child, I remember there was a big percentage of Jews in the Jewish street. They used to come every Saturday from the Jewish street to visit the synagogue here. When Israel was established, many of the Jews left, that was along time ago.

Interviewer: Were there huge numbers of Jews in Damascus?

Abu Loay: Yes of course, they all used to live in the Jewish street, an area named the Jewish street, in the old city of Damascus.

Interviewer: When did they leave and where did they go?

Abu Loay: Most of them went to Israel, the government back then gave them a choice, to either stay here or leave, and a lot of them chose to leave.

Interviewer: How was the synagogue destroyed?

Abu Loay: About two years ago, from the side of Harasta, they [Syrian Army] attacked us with the multiple rocket launcher. Over 15 shells were dropped at the same time. I took footage of the incident and then I tried [to expose the attack], I went to many media outlets, trying to call the Jews to come and protect the synagogue, but nobody responded. They [Syrian Army] hit the ceiling in two spots and the kitchen burnt down.

Interviewer: Why did you keep protecting the synagogue if the Jews themselves did not respond and did not come to protect it?

Abu Loay: First of all, the synagogue is located in my town, I am from Jobar. Secondly, it is a legacy, not only for the Jews, but also for us. It is a legacy for the citizens of Jobar. It is thousands of years old and it is as valuable as any church or mosque.

Interviewer: Being here in the synagogue, do you feel any attachment to this place?

Abu Loay: I swear I feel like it is my own home. I was sleeping right here, with my wife and children, and if I have to go somewhere I lock the place up. I was residing here for about six months.

Interviewer: How did you feel when the synagogue was attacked and destroyed?

Abu Loay: I felt like I lost a piece of my heart. Only someone who lives here will understand the true value of this synagogue.

Interviewer: Do you think there is a way to repair the synagogue?

Abu Loay: In this condition, all of this wreckage must be removed, they destroyed it. Go back to the old pictures of the synagogue and compare, it used to be heaven.

Interviewer: Do you speak Hebrew?

Abu Loay: No I only speak the language of Jobar.

Interviewer: Do you mind escorting us on a tour around the synagogue?

Abu Loay: Of course, I do not mind, let’s take the tour.
(04:28)

(04:33) Here there used to be the main door, and there, it used to be a kitchen. There is the room I used to sleep in.
This room was an office and I used to sleep in it. The women used to sleep upstairs, and this was a storage room. The main temple is in the back. This is the only tree that is still living.

(05:44) This is a new building, and there were rooms and the rooftop.
That used to be the entrance of the synagogue, and there use to be two rooms up there. And there was a water well.
Can you see this slot in the wall, they used to store the oil cans in their. Near the pile of rocks there used to be the alter. Those two chambers are completely destroyed.

(07:17) Look at the pigeon nest in the gap in the wall. That was here before the shelling.
This is an old school, and there used to be a wall here, the old school is for UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency].
There used to be a room, then a small hall and then another room, all ancient.
This carpet is from the remains of the temple, they used to love those colors, our brothers the Jews. This is another one, everything valuable we were able to find after the destruction, we removed it.

(08:39) Here used to be a huge bronze round plate, and here is the step of the prophet. Here they used to keep the oil, here they used to have books, and there was the seating area. The building was ancient and the temple had a very high ceiling.

(09:30) Here, where I am walking, used to be the few steps leading to the alter. Where I am standing now is the location of the alter. It was about half a circle and made out of wood and the chandeliers above it, it used to be amazing.

(10:20) Those gaps in the walls used to have frames, and here used to be a painting, and next to it a bronze box labeled "Charity".
And here, as we said before, they used to keep the oil.

(11:28) Here is the prayer chamber, our grandfathers used to say that the prophet Khedr used to come to pray here. This hole in the ceiling was an air vent for this chamber, but the shelling has destroyed most of the room.

(12:21) Look what the destruction did to it. The last time they dropped vacuum bombs on this area, the buildings around the synagogue were also destroyed.

(12:41) There used to be four candlesticks and a chair, an antique chair, they are not destroyed, we preserved them.

(13:05) This is the wreckage of the synagogue. They [Syrian Military] attacked us with many types of weapons, including jets. The last airstrike, they dropped vacuum bombs on us and destroyed all of the buildings.

Frame 0004
"We Drank from the Well": Typhoid Spr...
Eastern Gouta
By Mohamad al-jazaare
17 Sep 2014

September 17, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

In the shadow of the siege under which the population of Eastern Ghouta lives, a new crisis is unfolding: the spread Typhoid fever. The disease’s spread is most likely the result of the city's polluted drinking water, which is sourced from unfiltered water pumps.
Civilians are forced to use the pumps, as regime forces have cut off their major water supplies.

15-year-old Ahmad was recently struck with Typhoid fever. His condition deteriorated due to the unavailability of proper treatment and medicine to the point that he had to be admitted to an ICU. The doctor responsible for him discusses his case.

Mustafa, another young boy, who is currently in a better condition than Ahmad, is being treated in a field hospital.

Sound Bites:
Sound Bite 1: (Man, Arabic)
Oday Mohamad: A doctor in a field hospital:

"Ahmed is 15 year old child who is suffering from Typhus due to the polluted water that is mixed with the water of the sewer system. [The water is] used for drinking and other needs. Most patients are being treated in clinics and there are huge numbers arriving to the clinics everyday. However, Ahmed, is in the intensive care unit now, due to the effects of Typhus on his nervous system. He is fainting and his speech ability is very slow. He is being treated at the moment with the humble abilities that we have here in the hospital. We lack antibiotics and medical equipment that are used in diagnosis."

Sound Bite 2: (Man, Arabic)
Abu Ahmed, Typhus patient in a medical clinic:

"We drank from the well, unsanitary water, we had to drink this water, we do not have any other option. We do not have water, we know it is unsanitary and unclean water, but we had to drink it. We sensed that we were starting to get sick and we realized it was the symptoms of Typhus, so we came here to get treated."

Sound Bite 3: (Man, Arabic)
Mustafa: A Typhoid Patient:

"We are here in besieged Ghouta, we do not have electricity or medication. We are denied a lot of necessities, so we had to drink water from the wells, which gave us many diseases, like Typhus. There are no medications here at all and, if we find them, they would be very expensive”.

Shot List:
Various shots show water being pumped out of the well and the children taking water to their homes and shots show how unsanitary the water is.
various shots show Ahmed in the intensive care unit being treated by his doctor
Various shots show Abu Ahmed in a clinic being examined
Various shots show Mustafa in the field hospital while the doctor is examining him.

Frame 0004
Organic Electricity Made In Syria
Damascus Suburbs
By Abdu al-Fadel
11 Sep 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Civilians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta have turned to biomass fuel extraction to compensate for the desperate lack of gas and electricity in the area. The biomass holes are filled with cow manure, perfectly sealed, and left under the heat of the sun. They produce methane gas, which is used to operate machinery, cars, and watering pumps for the farmlands. By fueling farm equipment, the fuel is also helping alleviate some of the food shortages in the neighborhood.

Shot list:

Various shots of the Biomass hole.
Various shots of the function of the project concerning watering the farmlands.
Interviews with the workers in the area of the Biogas hole
Various shots of Eastern Ghouta

Sound Bites:

Female farmer:

(01:34) "I have 9 kids. We live close to here and we are constantly looking for food. Alhamdulillah, what can we say. May God protect us and protect everyone. The situation can't get any worse.

Abu al-Abbas, Responsible for the Biomass holes project:
(01:54) Interviewer: How do you benefit from the Biomass holes? Abu al-Abbas:
"We use them to operate machinery, motorcycles and sometimes cars. For example, this motorcycle, we connect the tank in it to the hole through a pump and we fill it in the amount [of Biogas] of a tea cup and it is enough for the whole day. Even our car, we fill it with gas and it works normally". (02:46)

Abu Karam, A farmer in one of the lands in Eastern Ghouta, speaks about the benefits of the project for watering the farm lands in the besieged area.

(02:56) interviewer: Tell us about your life here in Eastern Ghouta and what made you invent these things. Abu Akram:
"We are under constant shelling and bombing, planes are firing day and night, but thank god we are living with our families. We have crops and we have things to eat, and we are surviving despite of the shelling,".

Are you the only ones living like this, or is all of eastern Ghouta?
"All of eastern Ghouta, and even the people who do not have lands and crops. We deliver to them vegetables and anything that we harvest. Also milk, when we hear someone is sick, we send them milk". (03:49)

(03:50) Abu al-Abbas: Interviewer: What can you tell us about the other benefits of the Biomass hole?
"We use it to extract gas that is used for machines, such as the water pump that allows us to water the vegetables we plant". (04:14)

Name, Profession: Abu Yasser, A farmer and cows patron, speaks about the importance of the cows in this process.
(04:15) Abu Yasser: "Cows have so many benefits, and using the cows we were able to produce gas. Under this siege, no matter how long it remains, we are still able to survive and invent things to help us. Concerning milk for the infants, this are has been blockaded for the past year and a half, but, thank God, we have milk and we are using it to make cheese and all the necessities. Plus we are encouraging people to work, we also benefit from the meat, but the most important thing now is the gas we are producing because of the cow's manure". (05:42)

(05:42) Interviewer: Where do you get the basic material for the biogas hole? Abu al-Abbas:
"We need the manure, which is available from cows, and everything else is available, except for the plastic cover, which is very hard to find and very expensive. It [the plastic cover] costs about 70,000 SYP ($450), and before the siege it did not cost more than 1000-2000 ($20-$40) SYP. Interviewer: How does this project benefit Ghouta? Abu al-Abbas: It is beneficial for every one is Ghouta, we water the plants that we need so we can eat and survive, we use the gas to turn on lights, and cook. It is a very successful, beneficial project". (06:53)

(06:55) Interviewer: What is the amount [of fuel] this hole produces? Abu al-Abbas:
"It lasts for about a day and a half, we water the farm lands and we use it for cooking. Now all the farmers are creating similar holes because we use it for so many things, we also use it for the electricity generator". (07:35)

(07:42) Interviewer: How do you build the biogas holes? Abu al-Abbas:
"We dig the hole, we put plastic covers in the bottom, fill it with manure, and we add compost. Then we cover it with another plastic cover, it decomposes under the heat, and then we connect a pump to it.

Interviewer: How much does this hole cost?
Abu al-abbas:
"It costs about 150,000 SP ($960)" (08:30)

(09:54) Interviewer: Can you tell us about the benefits of the Biogas hole? Abu Akram:
"It is helping us watering the crops so we can eat and survive. We are also using it for cooking and operating machines. It is helping us a lot since we are under siege, and the regime has banned food and water from reaching this area". (10:58)

Frame 0004
Damascus: 800-Year-Old Bathhouse Endu...
Damascus
By TTM Contributor 4
08 Sep 2014

September 9, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Buried deep the historic al-Hamidiya Market in Damascus, one of the oldest traditional bathhouses in the city continues its business as usual, despite the ongoing war in Syria. Established in 1169, the Nour al-Din al-Shaheed bathhouse is one of the best examples of unadulterated Damascene history. It's cavernous bathing rooms and reception area have changed little over the years and guests can still enjoy an opportunity to experience a custom that has endured centuries of siege, occupation, and war.

Translation:

(04:51) "I am Majed Abdul Rahman, I work in Nour al-Din al-Shahid public bath. This bath consists of 4 sections: the outside, inside, steam room and the massage and exfoliating room. We have grooms [men about to get married] coming here almost daily. When they come here they use the exfoliating and the massage room, then they shower and after that, they go to the outside section and change the towels, drink some tea and [smoke] nargileh [water pipe], rest, get dressed, pay, then leave. There are lots of public baths, but this bath is special as it is old and cultural, provides a nice experience, and is very communal, they [guests] are allowed to bring food with them." (05:53)

(05:54) "First of all, my work is between Lebanon and Syria, I come to Syria every week, and I cannot come here without passing by the bathroom and bathing here in Souk al-Hamidiya. Every time I come here I have to roam around Damascus, and I cross all this distance from Lebanon to Syria so I can enjoy this bath. Honestly, we do not have baths like that in Lebanon, you can only find it here in Souk al-Hamidiya. The visit to the bathroom is very comforting and relaxing, you forget bout all your troubles at work in Lebanon and you forget about it here in Souk al-Hamidiya. You feel like you went back in time, to the era of your ancestors, and this is something we lack in Lebanon." (06:38)

(06:39) "I come to this public bath with my friends regularly, we are a group of students, we come here to see each other, enjoy our time, the atmosphere here is nice, and it is very relaxing." (06:55)

(06:56) "We are a group of friends, we come here every once and a while, we really like it here and we enjoy our time. I advise every man to come here so he can experience the old culture through this public bath that has been around for over 1,000 years." (07:10)

Shotlist:
Various shots of Souk al-Hamidiya

Various shots of the entrance of the bathhouse

Various shots of the bathhouse (exterior section)

Various shots of the bathhouse (interior section)

various shots of the steam room while its empty

Various shots of the steam room

Various shots of the exfoliating room

Various shots of people inside the exfoliating room

Various shots of the massage room

A shot of a person leaving the interior section

Various shots show the services provided in the bathhouse, such as tea and shisha

Frame 0004
Syria: Besieged Damascus Suburb Conti...
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
06 Sep 2014

September 6, 2014
Jobar, Damascus, Syria

Rebel fighters in the besieged Damascus suburb of Jobar discuss the destruction of their neighborhood and their determination to continue to fight the Syrian Army.

(00:47) “This used to be a stronghold for the thugs [Assad regime], but thank God we were able to take over those buildings. We found this trench that was dug by the regime and we were able to get into the buildings using our trenches and they were not able to do anything. We found two corpses of a mother and her daughter; they killed them and left them here until they became skeletons. So we took them and buried them. Over there we found a burnt corpse of a woman. Thank god we were able to beat them[Syrian Army], we went in with minimal weaponry, they have air power and tanks, we only have God on our side and we were able to beat them”. (01:48)

(02:26) “Until now we are surviving, despite of the siege, this hard life and all the problems that we go through. We are still holding on and we will not give up on our cause. Thank God they are losing everyday and they are losing lots of weapons and people. We kill his people and tell him to come pick up the corpses and they won't do it because he is a failure. He does not care about anything but power and to remain in control of his seat [of power]. All of these people who are dying are brothers to us, they are like family to us, most of them are from Aleppo, and Damascus. [There are] even Alawites, they are also our brothers, but this person [Bashar al Assad] is not going to rest until he turns us all against each other, the Muslims, the Christians and the Alawites. We are all Syrians, and we will not rest until we take this person [Bashar al Assad] down from the presidential seat. We actually killed a general in the army and told him [Bashar al Assad] to come and pick up the corpse. He said that he does not care, and to go throw him anywhere. That simply tells us how careless he is about everything except for himself. He does not care about all of these young men who are dying. No matter what, we will not back down and we will keep fighting, and with the help of God we are going inside, it will not be long before we go inside”. (03:47)

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Syria: Besieged Civilians Turn to Bio...
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
05 Sep 2014

September 5, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Civilians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta have turned to biomass fuel extraction to compensate for the desperate lack of gas and electricity in the area. The biomass holes are filled with cow manure, perfectly sealed, and left under the heat of the sun. They produce methane gas, which is used to operate machinery, cars, and watering pumps for the farmlands. By fueling farm equipment, the fuel is also helping alleviate some of the food shortages in the neighborhood.

Shot list:

Various shots of the Biomass hole.
Various shots of the function of the project concerning watering the farmlands.
Interviews with the workers in the area of the Biogas hole
Various shots of Eastern Ghouta

Sound Bites:

Abu al-Abbas, Responsible for the Biomass holes project:
(09:48) Interviewer: How do you benefit from the Biomass holes?
Abu al-Abbas:
"We use them to operate machinery, motorcycles and sometimes cars. For example, this motorcycle, we connect the tank in it to the hole through a pump and we fill it in the amount [of Biogas] of a tea cup and it is enough for the whole day. Even our car, we fill it with gas and it works normally". (10:43)

Abu Karam, A farmer in one of the lands in Eastern Ghouta, speaks about the benefits of the project for watering the farm lands in the besieged area.
(10:55) interviewer: Tell us about your life here in Eastern Ghouta and what made you invent these things.
Abu Akram:
"We are under constant shelling and bombing, planes are firing day and night, but thank god we are living with our families. We have crops and we have things to eat, and we are surviving despite of the shelling,".

Are you the only ones living like this, or is all of eastern Ghouta?
"All of eastern Ghouta, and even the people who do not have lands and crops. We deliver to them vegetables and anything that we harvest. Also milk, when we hear someone is sick, we send them milk". (11:46)

(11:48) Abu al-Abbas:
Interviewer: What can you tell us about the other benefits of the Biogmass hole?
"We use it to extract gas that is used for machines, such as the water pump that allows us to water the vegetables we plant". (12:12)

Name, Profession: Abu Yasser, A farmer and cows patron, speaks about the importance of the cows in this process.
(12:13) Abu Yasser: "Cows have so many benefits, and using the cows we were able to produce gas. Under this siege, no matter how long it remains, we are still able to survive and invent things to help us. Concerning milk for the infants, this are has been blockaded for the past year and a half, but, thank God, we have milk and we are using it to make cheese and all the necessities. Plus we are encouraging people to work, we also benefit from the meat, but the most important thing now is the gas we are producing because of the cow's manure". (13:41)

(13:54) Interviewer: Where do you get the basic material for the biogas hole?
Abu al-Abbas:
"We need the manure, which is available from cows, and everything else is available, except for the plastic cover, which is very hard to find and very expensive. It [the plastic cover] costs about 70,000 SYP ($450), and before the siege it did not cost more than 1000-2000 ($20-$40) SYP. Interviewer: How does this project benefit Ghouta?
Abu al-Abbas: It is beneficial for every one is Ghouta, we water the plants that we need so we can eat and survive, we use the gas to turn on lights, and cook. It is a very successful, beneficial project". (15:05)

(15:17) Interviewer: What is the amount [of fuel] this hole produces?
Abu al-Abbas:
"It lasts for about a day and a half, we water the farm lands and we use it for cooking. Now all the farmers are creating similar holes because we use it for so many things, we also use it for the electricity generator". (15:56)

(16:12) Interviewer: How do you build the biogas holes?
Abu al-Abbas:
"We dig the hole, we put plastic covers in the bottom, fill it with manure, and we add compost. Then we cover it with another plastic cover, it decomposes under the heat, and then we connect a pump to it.

Interviewer: How much does this hole cost?
Abu al-abbas:
"It costs about 150,000 SP ($960)" (18:22)

(19:30) Interviewer: Can you tell us about the benefits of the Biogas hole?
Abu Akram:
"It is helping us watering the crops so we can eat and survive. We are also using it for cooking and operating machines. It is helping us a lot since we are under siege, and the regime has banned food and water from reaching this area". (20:40)

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Eastern Ghouta: One Year After the Ch...
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
21 Aug 2014

August, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus

Residents of the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta reflect on the chemical attack on their neighborhood one year later. The footage opens with shots from the night of the attack and then moves to footage shot one year later in which children and residents recall their experiences. A grave digger is also interviewed at a burial yard containing mass graves of people killed in the attack.

Translation:

Man at 1:50: Reminds me of Tragedy. tragedy "printed in our hearts" that will never go (fade) away. it will be transmitted to future generations, it will be saved in all history books. Imagine how in 1 glimpse, more than 2000 persons found death, children, women youth ...
Contributor: is this the neighborhood that was bombed?
Man: yes this is it. We removed the corpse of 60 persons from there houses you see in the back, kids and women. The way they bombarded this neighborhood can't be described, not even by a "Butcher", no words to describe how a person, a government or a regime can do this.
Contributor: These days remind you of what?
Man: Tragedy
Contributor: what were you doing the same time last year?
Man: Nothing, we were living a normal life. there was bombing, and we were trying to coop (adapt) with the situation, until God makes things better. It was normal until they gave us a gift (present) that took away the lives of nearly 2000 persons (kids, women..) You can see dead kids everywhere "like flowers". Look at those kids (showing the kids playing next to them), innocents. Isn't it a pity to kill this innocence, this laughter?
Girl at 3:24: We were sleeping at home when our neighbor started to yell at us : "go to the roof, there's chemicals here!" We went up to the roof, then we heard gunshots, we came back down. We entered our rooms, closed the doors, got water supplies with us and wore our masks, then we started to faint and fell on the floor, until the paramedics came to rescue us. Among the dead were my grandma, my uncle, my cousin, his wife and daughter.
Man at 4:20: Here are all the dead people.
Contributor: Approximately how many dead?
Man: Around 300
Contributor: Where were the others buried?
Man: In Hamoryah, in Kafr Batna. They were buried in mass graves, due to the incapability in burying them.
At 4:58: This grave used to fit approximately 40 corpses, we put 80, one on each side. Then we covered the bodies with soil and we did it over and over again.
At 5:14: Approximately 400 or a little bit less of those who were buried here were dead because of the chemicals, 150 of those who were living here were buried here. The other 150-200 were transported from other villages to here, and approximately 400-500 martyrs were buried in other neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta.
At 5:34: There (pointing at a neighborhood in the background) you find around 204 martyrs that died because of the explosion, caused by a bomb planted in a car by the regime. Approximately 1800-2000 martyrs are in these graves.
It's a very tragic memory, all our loved ones, our women, our kids, our youth are dead. I pray for God to give everyone who participated in this massacre the punishment they deserve. Some media agencies said that other neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta were affected, but the truth is that Zamalka and Ain Karma were the most affected.
At 6:32: I hope the international community thinks and punishes everyone who participated in this massacre in the courts, especially the Syrian regime and everyone else related to it.
At 6:52: on 8/21/2013, around 12:30-1 at night, we heard the first rocket. Everyone was horrified and started to shout :Chemicals, Chemicals, and it was at this time when the ambulances started to come to give the first aids. We helped as much as we could with the simple primitive capacities we had, few medicaments and Vaccines (syringes. needle..)
Unfortunately, those we couldn't help fell on the floor until they were transported to the hospitals in Eastern Ghouta. It was a really sad tragic day. Everything was expected, but not being bombed with chemicals, it was really hard. Around 3 at night, 2 or 3 more rockets were fired, targeting a crowded residential area, and people started to go up the the higher floors in the buildings, trying to escape. Unfortunately, the 2 rockets were fired simultaneously, the number of martyrs was really high. One of the medical centers was hit, all the medical crew and the people there were killed. We started to look for survivors from these medical centers, searching them one by one, and we buried all the martyrs, around 150 from Irbin and Kafr Batna, some women were buried there as well, due to our limited capacities.
Subhan Allah, it was one of the hardest days, we moved martyrs from 12 at night that day til the next day at noon, most of them were kinds and women from Irbin, and were buried in mass graves here.
It was a real tragic memory. An international committee of researches came and took samples, supposedly to hold the regime accountable for this massacre. And it was of course proven after the analysis that the regime was responsible for this tragedy, because the rebels don't have enough capacities to do it, And until now, we saw nothing from the international community, only few compensations and aids were given to the families of the martyrs.

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Besieged Syrians Extract Fuel from Pl...
Eastern Ghouta
By Jawad Arbini
14 Aug 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Syrians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta have found an innovative way to turn plastic waste into petrol in light of a fuel shortage in the deprived neighborhood. While this fascinating process produces a desperately needed resource, it is also a very dirty and polluting. Toxic smoke from burning plastic engulfs the little courtyard where the fuel is produced and is leading to respiratory problem amongst the men in charge of the project.

The price of one liter of gasoline in the besieged eastern Ghouta, in rural Damascus, varies between 2500-4000 Syrian Pounds.
The price of one liter of diesel is 2000 Syrian Pounds, which led the civilians to extract fuel from plastic, which caused the price of the liter to decrease to half the price.
The extracting method consists of putting the plastic in sealed barrels through which a water pipe to passes through for cooling purposes. Then a fire is lit underneath the barrels which allows the Methane to be released first, then gasoline, and finally diesel.
There are many types of extracted fuel and the determining factor for the type of fuel released is the type of plastic used.

SHOT LIST:
Various shots show the fuel extracting method.
Shots of the fire lit underneath the barrels, the cooling pipe, and the different types of plastic.
Obtaining diesel and fuel, which are similar in color, in addition to gas, which is not useful at the current time.
General shots of the stands where fuel is sold.

TRANSCRIPT:

Speakers: Abu Hassan, a plant owner
Nabil, owns a shop for selling fuel Abu Yasser, owns a shop for selling fuel

"Here we have the filtration process, we are turning fuel into diesel, and we are turing plastic into gasoline, diesel and oil. We are extracting gas for domestic use. The whole process is about boiling and filtering, from hot to cold. It is a basic procedure."

"One kilogram of plastic can produce 800 grams of liquid, gasoline and diesel."

"Gasoline reached the price of 4000-4200 Syrian Pounds ($20-$21), and the amounts available were minimal. However, we found a substitute by heating plastic and extracting methane, gasoline, and diesel."

"The price of diesel was 3200-3500 Syrian Pounds ($16-$18.50) per liter, which is considered very expensiv. So people were no longer able to purchase it, but after we started operating on plastic and started extracting diesel from it, the price decreased to 1200-1500 SP and it became more available."

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Orphaned Brothers Struggle to Survive...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
13 Aug 2014

al-Hajar al-Aswad, Damascus
November, 2014

Youssef, 8 years old
Ahmed 12 years old
Um Farah, Aunt

Youssef and Ahmed are two young orphans who are struggling to survive with their two sisters. After losing their father and mother a couple of years ago, the children now struggle to survive in the besieged Damascus neighborhood of al-Hajar al-Aswad.

The children's father was killed during clashes with the Syrian army in their native Deir Ez Zour. Shortly after their father's death, the situation in Deir Ez Zour became too violent and Um Youssef escaped with the children to al-Hajar al-Aswad, a neighborhood in southern Damascus.

In the beginning of 2012, when the mother was standing in line to get some bread for her children, the Syrian government bombed the bakery and Um Youssef was severely injured. Due to the siege imposed on the area by the government, she was not able to get proper treatment for her wounds and she died shortly after. Youssef, Ahmed, and their two sisters became orphans.

After losing their mother, the children's aunt, Um Farah started looking after them. However, their lives did not get easier as Um Farah's ability to care for the children was limited as she was already poor herself and had her own children to look after. Regardless of the challenges, Um Farah did not give up on Youssef and his siblings, and tried to provide for them. However, the siege and resulting poverty forced Youssef and Ahmed to begin providing for themselves.

Now, Youssef and Ahmed scour the streets of al-Hajar al-Aswad for food and anything that they can use to survive.

A typical day for Ahmed and Youssef begins early when they go searching for drinkable water. After their search for water, they head to school in a makeshift classroom that was established by volunteers in al-Hajar al-Aswad. For the boys, school is considered they only good thing in their lives during the war. However, Youssef usually leaves in the middle class to go reserve a place in the line for the public kitchen. Once he reserves his spot he heads back to school.

After school is over, Youssef returns to the kitchen to pick up the food. They then take the food home to have a meal with the rest of the family.
After taking a short rest, they go out searching for firewood, which is the only material available under siege that can be used for cooking and heating. After an exhausting day they go to sleep.

Youssef and Ahmed can no longer remember cartoon shows; they have not watched any since the electricity was cut off two years ago. The only thing they care about is helping their aunt provide food and other needs for the family.

Youssef and Ahmed are examples of many Syrian orphans who struggle to survive.

The Syrian government imposed a siege on al-Hajar al-Aswad at the end of 2012 and the siege has thus far resulted in the death nearly 70 people from starvation and dehydration. The situation is getting worse after the regime increased the siege by cutting off the water in al-Hajar al-Aswad.
TRANSCRIPT:

Interviewer:
Ho do you spend your day Youssef?

Youssef:
We wake my aunt up to tell her that we are going to get water, so she would not worry about us. After we are done, we go to school, and when it is time to go to the kitchen, we take permission from the teacher and leave to go put the buckets and claim our place in line. Then we go back to school and after we are done we go to the kitchen, get the food, and come back home.

Interviewer:
Youssef what do you wish for?

Youssef:
To have my mother and father alive. When I see children with their parents, I feel sad, I see them with their parents, playing and joking, but I cannot do that because my parents are dead and I have nobody but my aunt.

Interviewer:
Youssef what do you want to be when you grow older?

Youssef:
I want to become an FSA fighter

Interviewer:
Why do you want to become and FSA fighter?

Youssef:
I want vengeance from the people who killed my mother and father.

Interviewer:
Ahmed, what do you wish to become when you grow older?

Ahmed:
I want to become a doctor because when my mother was injured, there were no doctors to treat her. That is why I want to become a doctor, so I can treat the ill and the injured.

Interviewer:
Ahmed, what do you wish for?

Ahmed:
I wish the old days would return and I can go back and play with the children I used to play with, and to go back to school and forget about everything and not wake up early to go look for firewood, water and food. That is how we spend our days, very tiring.

Um Farah, their aunt:
Their mother died while she was at the bakery getting bread. A bomb was dropped and her kidney was injured. And their father, he died before their mother did. He was going with some people and carrying a gun and some people betrayed them and 100 men were killed. Their father was one of them. They have nobody, I brought them to look after them and I will not give up on them. For their bad luck, things got worse and life got more difficult. We have been under siege for a year, without food or medical care or anything. We go to the garden and get some edible plants while the children go to the public kitchen and get some food, that is how we are managing.

Interviewer:
How many children are they?

Um Farah, their aunt:
They are four, two older girls and two boys.
That is how we are living, the children go everyday to get water from a place far away, it has been two months since they cut off the water.

Interviewer:
How do the children treat you?

Um Farah, their aunt:
They are great, they call me mom and I do not make them feel that I am only their aunt. I love them very much, and I treat them as if they were my own children.

The teacher:
Youssef’s case is similar to many cases we have here at the school. This child lost his family and he no longer has people to care for him. In the beginning, we felt that he is lonely and isolated, until we knew what his problem was, and as much as possible we tried to push him to communicate with the other children. In addition to that, similar to many other children, they bring buckets and container and take permission to leave class in order to go to the public kitchen and get food so they can survive.

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Generating Electricity in Damascus' S...
By Jawad Arbini
02 Jul 2014

July 01, 2014
Hamoureya town, Damascus, Syria

A year and a half has passed with electricity being completely turned off in Eastern Ghouta. This inspired Abu Yaarob to turn bicycles into electricity generators that are able to generate up to 500 lumens which can run a washing machine, a television or electric tools. This method became widespread and now shops have reopened after closing due to the lack of electricity.

Shot list:
A television working through the bicycle
A washing machine working through the bicycle
A power tool working through the bicycle

Interviews

Abu Thaer - One of the people using the bicycle:
"Electricity has been off here, in eastern Ghouta, for over a year and a half, so the men in Ghouta had to turn the old electric bicycle that we used in the days of the regime into an electricity generator that can generate up to 220 volts that we can use to power a television and to charge 15 mobile phones, and to charge the battery lamps and to turn on a regular lamp and a washing machine. As you can see we will connect a lamp and a mobile phone and we used a three-way plug and as we start turning the pedals you see the lamp lights and the mobile phone starts charging.

Abu Kassem - An owner of a car repair shop who uses the bicycle:
Here I am a metal worker and because we have no electricity I am using the bicycle. We are generating electricity and working and we do not care about Bashar or anyone else, and God is with is, and we will win for sure.

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Health Care Crisis in Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
22 Jun 2014

June 17, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Syria's health care system is facing a crisis as hospitals have come under attack and medical supplies have not been replenished because of international sanctions. This video visits a hospital in Damascus and interviews healthcare authorities on the growing crisis.

Interview 1: Dr. Saed Alnayef – Minister of Health in Syria
"The source of this bad situation is not limited to actions of terrorists who directly targeted medical institutions and services, but also includes their targeting and destruction of other service sectors such as water and electricity. This has affected both the medical and the environmental situation in the country. There is the economic siege which has affected the importing of medicine and medical equipment. This poses a great challenge for us. We were able to make use of all our potential resources in terms of medicine, equipment, and medical staff. This way we were able to make up for the shortages, and provide decent medical care for Syrian citizens. However, this targeted destruction [by armed groups] affected 67 hospitals, while more than 38 hospitals completely went out of business. Also, 400 cars were destroyed and more than 20 medicine factories."

Interview 2: Dr. Abd al-Karim – Emergency Room Doctor.
"The public's perception of the hospital in Damascus is that its one of the largest hospitals in Damascus. Recently, the hospital suffered a lot due to the constant increase in volume of people visiting the hospital for consults, which sometimes exceeds 500 to 1000 patients. The patients come not only from Damascus and its suburbs, but also from other Syrian cities due to lack of medical care there. We suffered in this hospital and we are still suffering from the scarcity of some medical products that we used to import from other countries. This is due to the economic siege on the Syrian government. Other than that, there is malfunctioning equipment that we struggled to fix because they were imported from other countries who have boycotted Syria. So to provide the required medical care at the hospital, we had to find other local ways to fix the equipment or use other equipment and find alternatives."

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Supporters of Bashar al-Assad Rally i...
Damascus
By TTM Contributor 4
04 Jun 2014

June 04, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Car convoys of supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad rally on the Mezzeh Highway in central Damascus.

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Bashar al-Assad Casts His Ballot in t...
Damascus
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 3, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts his ballot in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Malki Neighborhood of Damascus.

Video Source: Syrian State Television
No Sound

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Syrians Vote in Damascus
Damascus, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 16, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Video shows Syrians casting their votes for the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the Ministry of Information in Damascus.

Interviews:

Shirine Ahmad, Head of Polling Station:
“At 6:30 we were at the polling station, we opened the box and counted what it contains [blank voting ballots and envelopes]. We counted the envelopes and then we waited for the agents to come and seal the box. We then continued with the process. In the process [voters] first present their ID; we own a device to discover fake ID cards [ID's are verified]. Then the ID number is recorded in the polling document. The voter then takes an envelope and a voting ballot and enters the secret room. In the room he records his choice and then places it by hand in the ballot box and retrieves his ID. He then marks his finger with ink and that is the end of the process”.

Ali Ahmad, State Employee:
“This huge event, the day of the Syrian presidential election, is a national and constitutional duty. We want to chose the Doctor [Bashar al-Assad] who can treat the illness Syria is suffering from and can find the right treatment for this disease. This cooperation between Syrians is meant to build the country after over 85 countries around the world have tried to destroy it. This cooperation between Syrians today is meant to build what terrorism has destroyed”.

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Syrian Presidential Candidate Hassan ...
Damascus, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June, 3, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Syrian presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri casts his vote at a polling station in the Sheraton hotel in central Damascus. Nouri held a press conference in the same location after casting his vote.

Hassan al-Nouri:
“Today in Syria we have started a new era, the era of true victory over terrorism and this global war [inflicted on Syria]. Syria has won with the will of its people and the great Syrian Army. I, as a presidential candidate of the Syrian Republic, have voted for myself of course. I declare that if it was not for the strength of the great people of Syria, we would not have got to this day. We stand here among all of you voting for the new president of this country, among the will of Syrians and the strength of Syrians and thank you”.

Question: What are you chances of wining given the popularity of Bashar al-Assad?

“President Assad is very popular, but he is also facing strong competitors”.

Question: What do you promise Syrians if you become president?

“If I become president, I promise Syrians that I will walk the path of national dialogue and a peaceful Syrian to Syrian dialogue. [I promise] to fight terrorism in order to achieve peace and security in this country and to commence the project of national economic and social reform that we desperately need”.

Question: In case you do not win in the election, how will you serve your country?

“If I do not reach the position of president, I will remain a good citizen who does his best to serve his country. I believe that I have recorded my name in the political field of Syria and I am certain that we will all play a great role in building Syria and accomplishing total victory”.

Question: How do you feel about the election process so far?

“So far the whole operation is democratic and we are optimistic that we will see a strong victory. This enormous march of people is something that I was not expecting. This march is expected to continue into the night and we might need to extend [the election] for another day”.

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Children in Rebel-Held Damascus Vote ...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
02 Jun 2014

June, 1, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Video shows Syrian children in the opposition-held al-Tadamon neighborhood of Damascus assemble a mock polling box where they use shoes instead of voting ballots to demonstrate their opposition to Bashar al-Assad. The shoes belong to people who have been killed in the fighting in al-Tadamon. Waving or throwing a shoe at someone is considered a serious insult in Syrian culture. Footage includes vox pops of civilians and FSA fighters expressing their opinions about the Syrian presidential election.

Interviewer:
What are you doing?

Hana:
“I am voting for Bashar.”

Interviewer:
And why are you voting for him like this?

Hana:
“That is his worth and value.”

Interviewer:
What did Bashar do to you?

Hana:
“He starved us and he killed all of our relatives.”

Interviewer: Do you like him [Bashar al-Assad]?

Hana:
“No.”

Interviewer: How are you voting for him [Bashar al-Assad]?

Hana:
“We are voting for him with shoes [sign of disrespect in Syrian culture].”

Interviewer: What are you doing here?

Samar:
“I am voting for Bashar.”

Interviewer: Why are you voting for him like this?

Samar:
“This is his value.”

Interviewer: What did he do to you?

Samar:
“He dropped bombs on us; we can see the planes firing at us. We became very hungry and nobody fed us or cared for us.”

Mohamad (FSA fighter):
“This election is a big joke. He is undermining the rebel forces and us and he thinks people are bling and ignorant. You can see even the children here did a polling box to vote for him with shoes. These are the shoes of the martyrs, of the fathers who died because of the bombing and the shelling. We have only God to support us.”

Yousef (civilian):
“Bashar al-Assad will not win, no matter what, he will not win. We will take him down with our shoes. If he has missiles, we have guns, like this, and we will beat his army. They have Bashar al-Assad to support them but we have God. Allahu Akbar [God is Great]!”

Mahdi (civilian):
Sarcastically: “Look at what he gave us, good living conditions, that’s why we should vote for him.”

Interviewer: What do you think of the presidential election?

Saleh (FSA fighter):
“Bashar will definitely be taken down. He starved us and people had to plant in the streets to harvest something to eat. He starved us and we do not acknowledge him or his government.”

Alaa (civilian):
“Look at this, he [Bashar al-Assad] drops barrel bombs on us. Look at the destruction, that is why we should not vote for him. He was considered an illegitimate leader since the first day we protested.”

Interviewer: What do you think of the presidential election?

Fadel (FSA fighter):
“The Election here is 100% doomed to fail. The first droplet of blood here was enough to make him an illegitimate leader and no one here will vote for him. We named this election "The election of blood". The situation here does not allow anybody to vote for a president like him. He dropped bombs on us and destroyed us, why would we vote for him after all this? The people who are going to vote for him are the people living underneath his protection.”

Ahmed (civilian):
“We are here in al-Tadamon, a fully liberated area, and we do not acknowledge this election. Bashar al-Assad became an illegitimate leader since the first droplet of blood was spilled in Dara'a and all other areas. He is no longer our president.”

Ali (FSA fighter):
“These elections are made for his [Bashar al-Assad's] supporters only. We are free. Since the revolution started, Bashar became an illegitimate leader. We will keep fighting here in al-Tadamon and we will keep fighting until we take down this dictator with God’s help.”

Abu Saleh (civilian):
“This is the election of blood. What election are they talking about? People are dying, they are hungry, besieged, humiliated, and women are being imprisoned everywhere, it is a very sad thing.”