Idlib Calling | 18 september 2018 | by Evert-Jan Grit

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Meet Ahmed, theater producer from Saraqeb, and friend and partner of PAX. His life is no bed of roses. Saraqeb is in the Syrian province of Idlib, in the northwest of the country. Idlib's future is, to say the least, uncertain.
After a period of daily bombings, it is now much calmer. But no one knows what's in store for the area. Residents are doing their best to carry on with their daily lives. Russia and Turkey have imposed a demilitarized zone in order to separate the Syrian Army and armed militias.
A couple of times a week we speak with Ahmed to hear how he and his family are getting on. He says its important for people in Idlib that we here in the Netherlands hear about what's happening. It makes them feel like they haven't been forgotten.

Idlib calling: it looks like we can expect some rest for a while

Tuesday 18 September

Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyib Erdogan agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib separating opposition and government-controlled areas, in order to avert a humanitarian disaster. Ahmed form Saraqeb feels relieved, but he also has a small problem.

“Good morning Ahmed, how are you?”

“Good morning my friend, I’m fine, thank you.”

“I’m outside now because the wifi connection is bad. I’m standing in the scorching sun, and its burning hot!”

“Sorry I couldn’t answer your call this morning, but the solar collector on our roof is broken. So I had to go to the market and find someone to fix it. The good news is that I found someone, the bad news is that he still hasn´t shown up. He promised to be here an hour ago, but you know how it goes over here.”

“By the way, we´re sort of relieved. The Russians said there would be no war in Idlib. Not that we take such a promise for granted, but we believe their relationship with Turkey is more important for them right now then a war against the people in Idlib.”

“Yesterday we studied the maps on Facebook – there will be a demilitarized zone about 20 kilometres wide between us and the regime controlled area. This zone almost borders Saraqeb. It looks like we can expect some rest for a while.”

“Say hello for us to the people in the Netherlands!”

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