Idlib Calling | 11 oktober 2019 | 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.
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: These people are the real heroes

Friday 11 October 2019

The Turkish offensive in Northeast Syria is in full swing. Our partners and friends do everything in their power to help the refugees from the war. But in Idlib, too, people suffer from the violence and fear what is coming. I am curious what Ahmed can say.

Hi Ahmed, how are you. Do you think you can say something about the war in the northeast?”

“You know how sensitive and dangerous it is to speak out now. So I hope you forgive me for being careful. We know what people are going through there now and I want to tell you that we are all Syrians in the first place, wherever we come from. We have learned that it doesn’t matter who is in charge. Whether it is the regime, or any armed group or militia. Ultimately, we, the citizens, the ordinary people are the victims. And nobody really cares about us.”

“I have a great deal of respect for the people in the Northeast who are now working to offer help, to find shelter and food for the refugees. These people are the real heroes. And if we ever have the opportunity to meet them, we will receive them in a grand way. I’m not sure how to express myself, but I think you know what I mean. Please let them know that we are with them in mind. Do you want to pass that on to them? “

Those are nice words Ahmad, I’ll do that.”

“There is something else I want to tell you. Fuel prices are rising because of the war. There are shortages. Everyone is hoarding. You know that our stoves are fueled by petroleum … I am very worried about what’s coming. Soon it will be winter, the refugees live in tents. How are we going to keep warm? “

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