Idlib Calling | 28 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: we won’t stop smoking till the regime has left

Friday 21 September

People in Idlib can breathe again. It´s been a week since the last bombardments and people are getting on with their lives. Today, September 21, there were demonstrations once again. Today’s slogan: “No constitution and no reconstruction until the regime is gone.”

“Hi Ahmed, how’s your day?”

“Very good”

“In a minute we will take to the streets again. I think it’s going to be huge today. We will continue.”

“With today’s slogans we want to show that our will is not broken. We don’t want to be ruled. Not by the regime, but also not by armed groups from outside – you know what I’m talking about.”

“We feel relieved – how different form two weeks ago! People are getting on with their lives and they have once again started to think about the future. Until recently craftsmen and construction workers in Saraqeb were staying at home because there was no work. But now there is. First we could only think about fleeing and now we want to start building again.”

“I told you there hasn´t been any bombing for a week, but this morning a car bomb exploded. A man form Faylaq al-Sham militia was killed.”

“I’m still smoking – you must understand that in our situation it’s difficult to stop. Ha, ha…indeed it may be a good idea for next week’s slogans to say that we can only stop smoking when the regime is gone.”

“See you later.”

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