Yousef Albostany Yousef Albostany

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Children of Eastern Ghouta
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

Children of the besieged Eastern Ghouta are living in catastrophic conditions. Many schools were demolished which left the children on the streets trying to find means of entertainment in alleys between the destroyed buildings. The children became nonchalant about the bombing and aircraft roars, which have become part of their daily lives. This photoessay was produced by Yousef Albostany the spokesperson of the Revolutions Coordination Union Damascus and its country side . Albostany photographed scenes of daily life in Ghouta where he also lives.

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Syrians in Opposition-Held Eastern Gh...
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
03 Jun 2014

June, 2, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Residents in the opposition-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta discuss the Syrian presidential election. All of those interviewed say they do not recognize the election as legitimate.

Speakers:

Yassin, Social Worker:
“This election done by the regime is a joke. What [kind of] election is it when people starve? What [kind of] election is it when missiles are hitting Um al-Mleiha and areas in Aleppo everyday? What [kind of] election is it when the mortars are hitting us everyday?”

Interviewer: What do you expect to happen after the election? Do you expect the regime to become lenient, or to become harder, or to find methods of solving the crisis?

Yassin:
“The regime is internally destroyed, but it is doing its best to hide it”.

Abou Khaled, Constructions Worker:
“What is this election that is happening while we are suffering everyday from starvation and bombing? He is attacking us with mortars, missiles, and all kinds of bombs and weapons everyday. What [kind of] election is it after all the martyrs and the bloodshed and while the international community is going along with it? This election is a comedy play”.

Do you expect the regime to be harder on people after the election and to be more monstrous in dealing with the areas that do not fall under its control?
“Speaking of the regime, it is going down no matter what. It is only a matter if time, but it is going down”.

After being under siege, don’t you fear the regime will do more?
“We saw what no other population has seen. We do not care, we expect anything from him [Bashar al-Assad], and he can do whatever he wants”.

Aous, Refugee Doctor from Damascus:
“The regime does not care at all about the opinions of the inhabitants of besieged Ghouta. He is fighting them because they stood up and said, 'No, we do not want you as president!' We do not want a criminal as a presidential candidate. When there is an election where no criminals are candidates we will participate”.

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Plastic Prosthetics from the Damage o...
Douma
By Yousef Albostany
04 Mar 2014

March 03, 2014
Douma, Syria

"Douma Al Kheir" (Douma Welfare) Foundation is using the wood of damaged homes and shops in addition to plastic barrels, to produce plastic prosthetics for wounded fighters and civilians who have lost a limbs, due to the ongoing civil war in Syria. The project started almost a year ago, by producing crutches and later developed into the production of plastic prosthetics.
"Douma Al Kheir" is now functioning in Douma, and receiving injured from all the cities of Eastern Ghouta.

Interviews:

Founder and project manager Abu Salah:
The idea came up because of the need and the lack of canes and the of the raw material to make them so we replaced it by old pipes that we picked out of the ruins and we started making canes for all ages from small sizes to bigger and bigger so we got the idea of evolving the canes and turning them into a limb that can help the person in need to give up the cane. At first we started making artificial limbs using the manikins that were used to display clothes before, we kept using them till we no longer had any available and then the replacement was wood, we used the wood to make an artificial limb manually without any machines, we used the destroyed wooden objects, until the wooden objects were finished so we switch to other alternatives such as plastic from destroyed water tanks and till now we’re using them. We also made the highly pressured sponge foot to match the size f the leg.

Interviewer:
The stages of production ?

Founder and project manager Abu Salah:
When the person in need comes in we take the measurements after the report of the medical committee and the workshop starts the manufacturing each in his profession, design, metal movement, incubators, the application workshop, then trying the size on for the first time then the second time according to the need or the situation of the patient, after that we consider the artificial limb is almost ready and only in need of some final touches that are added after the patient tries the prostatic on and then the final enhancing touches are added.

Project supervisor Abu Mohamed:
We are an institution that doesn’t have any military or political connections, a completely civil organization, we didn’t receive any support from anyone, and this institution has been established because of the efforts of the individuals who work in it. One of the obstacles that we face is the fact that all of our workers are volunteers and have no income or salary and the biggest problem we have is the lack of fuel, and how expensive it is and the lack of electricity.

Founder and project manager Abu Salah:
Before we used to make the limbs stable and incapable of any motion but now they evolved to have a knee joint and now it can move flexibly, and we were also able to make this ankle joint move, all of these details can help the person walk in the closest way to normal. To show you more details this is a hand movement and this also is fully made here, we also have this arm made for a child named Iyad AlKhateeb, he will use it by next Monday, he came here three days ago, we will install the top piece and get everything ready so it can be a flexible limb for a child who was born in 2001.

7:23 -- Abu Salah: The leg was amputated 28 cm above the knee. This prosthetic limb was made specifically for his case.
Are you comfortable in it like this?

Abd Al Rahman: Yes

Abu Salah: What is your name?
Abd Al Rahman: Abd Al Rahman from Harasta
Abu Salah: From Harasta Al Basal? Welcome. Is your prosthetic limb suitable?
Abd Al Rahman: Good
Abu Salah: In general, how do you feel about it?
Abd Al Rahman: Good.
Abu Salah: We have to raise it a little bit. It is very important for the limb to be proportionate with the whole body. Let me also fix it from the back.
How do you feel Abd Al Rahman? Do you still need this cane?
Abd Al Rahman: No.
Abu Salah: Inshallah. We did this [prosthetic limb] so you will no longer need the cane and go back to your natural situation as much as possible. Now take small steps and hold on to the side of the limb so you can help yourself. Take smaller steps.
If you do not have your other shoe, take the one you are wearing off because it will cause problems with your walking. Take small, well-balanced steps and put your whole weight on the prosthetic limb. Keep your back straight and your face raised. Come on. Small steps.
Is there any pain or discomfort?

Abd Al Rahman: No

Abu Salah: Be sure to put it right and raise it, and you can hold on to the belt holder in your trousers to support yourself, and do not lean to one side. Simply put all your weight on the prosthetic leg so that your good leg can move freely. But if you lean forward you will not be able to do it. You are strong, you can carry a mountain, do not lean forward.

12:21 -- Reporter: Abu Mohammad is working here as a volunteer. He is a very creative man specialized in sewing.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 11
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

Three children are walking in an empty street in the Hijjareya neighborhood of Ghouta. This rebel held area is located next to Al Wafedeen camp that is held by the Syrian regime and has been the target of heavy clashes between both parties. When asked what they are doing in the street, the children simply said their mother has sent them out to buy groceries.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 5
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

Three children are playing in a building that used to host restaurants. The building was destroyed by rocket shelling and has now become a dumpster.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 8
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

A father climbs over a three meters high pile of rubble with his four year-old daughter to reach his house. When asked what he was doing, the father said he had just taken his daughter for a walk around the block to get some fresh air.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 3
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

10 year-old Mohammed dropped out from school to work and help his parents and three younger siblings. Everyday, the young boy roams the streets of Duma collecting, wooden doors and furniture from shelled houses as well as material like nylon for his mom to cook. Mohammed also collects metal or anything that seems valuable and sells it for extra money. His father has been working as a porter since he lost his job at a bakery five months ago. All bakeries in Eastern Ghoutta have shut down because of the siege. Mohammad says he is proud of what he does and does not feel humiliated from working in the rubble.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 10
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

A young girl is working at her father's food kiosk on the street of Hawa ("Eve" in Arabic) mosque while he went home for lunch. The kiosk sells tomato paste, margarine and jam. Before the war it was a good middle and upper class neighborhood. Today, most people living in the area are on the border of poverty and have to face daily bombardments.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 1
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

Three neighbors walk in front of a five stories building that was destroyed by a Mig rocket on their way home after school. In Ghouta, basements are now safer than the surface. Classes are now happening in underground bunker schools.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 12
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

A young boy poses on his bike on the Al Kabeer mosque square, now referred to as the Al Hurriya (freedom) square, which has witnessed numerous protests since the war began in 2011. Children in Ghouta seem to have lost their sense of fear. They continue to play in the streets despite the constant threat of bombardments, shelling and clashes between armed groups and the Syrian army.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 4
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

10 year-old Mohammed dropped out from school to work and help his parents and three younger siblings. Everyday, the young boy roams the streets of Duma collecting, wooden doors and furniture from shelled houses as well as material like nylon for his mom to cook. Mohammed also collects metal or anything that seems valuable and sells it for extra money. His father has been working as a porter since he lost his job at a bakery five months ago. All bakeries in Eastern Ghoutta have shut down because of the siege. Mohammad says he is proud of what he does and does not feel humiliated from working in the rubble.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 6
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

A young boy coming back from school stares at his neighbors' garden, which was bombed only one hour before. The garden is facing a park where children from the neighborhood often play.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 2
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

Two sisters (right) and their cousins (left) are playing French skipping near their home. The house behind them was hit by mortars several times. Its inhabitants have abandoned it after the bombardments. Despite the danger the constant bombing threats, the girls continue to go out and meet in the streets to play.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 9
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

A young girl is working at her father's food kiosk on the street of Hawa ("Eve" in Arabic) mosque while he went home for lunch. The kiosk sells tomato paste, margarine and jam. Before the war it was a good middle and upper class neighborhood. Today, most people living in the area are on the border of poverty and have to face daily bombardments.

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Children of Eastern Ghouta 7
Ghouta, Syria
By Yousef Albostany
01 Dec 2013

The kids are playing around over demolished houses. More than 50 houses were completely demolished by a bombardment of 4 rockets.