Idlib Calling | 9 april 2019 | by Evert-Jan Grit


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.
Every day, people get killed in air strikes and shelling by the Syrian and Russian armies. Children die covered in dust and debris. The war in Idlib is primarily a war against civilians.
A couple of times a month 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: Rebuilding

Friday, April 5

Ahmed’s house in Saraqeb was hit by a missile on 10 March. Now that the White Helmets have cleared any unexploded ammunition from the area, Ahmed can begin repairing the damage. He hopes to be able to move back into his house, with his family, within a few days.

“Hi, Ahmed, how are you doing?”

“Well, I’m doing okay. We’re just working on the house, what more can I say? ”

“I keep trying to convince myself that the damage isn’t too bad, because none of us were seriously injured. But the damage is pretty bad. I had to sell my wife’s gold to buy building supplies and to hire workers. I bought stones to re-build the walls, and workers are repairing the concrete on the roof. I bought a new door, the electricity has been re-wired and we got a new water tank on the roof ”

“Pfff … who’ll pay for all that?”

“Haha, what do you think? They don’t care — they’re trying to kill us ”

“But seriously, we know who did it. It came from a Syrian army rocket launcher in Agaz, a village near Hama. When we’re done here I’ll post on Facebook that they won’t keep us down. Whatever happens, we’ll stick to our demands for freedom and justice. But first, we have to get back into our house.”

Postscript: Attacks on the villages in Idlib have continued. On Sunday 7 April Saraqeb was hit again with missiles filled with cluster munitions. Four people were killed and more injured. Ahmed let me know that he and his family were OK.

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