In al-Hajar al-Aswad, south of Damascus, buildings are steadily being demolished—regardless of whether they are structurally sound—with the rubble sold for profit under the eyes of regime forces. Some fear demolitions could be a precursor to expropriations under redevelopment plans.
Five years after residents of Damascus’ Jobar neighborhood were displaced, they are still denied return. The release of Development Plan 106 last June has only heightened fears and uncertainty about the future of their property.
In Latakia, the Damascus-controlled province most impacted by the February 6 earthquake, “chaos” ruled the emergency response, amid concerns about long-term displacement in the absence of a plan for alternative housing.
After years of waiting, hundreds of evicted residents of informal neighborhoods of Damascus learned in November that they received alternative housing. But the estimated value of each unit went up, and “most of the people allocated housing can’t make the down payment.”
Many families in East Ghouta and other settlement areas struggle to obtain vital records due to the displacement of a spouse, loss of original documents or refusal by Damascus to recognize opposition records.
Students in Damascus and other regime-controlled areas went back to school on Sunday. Rising costs of stationery and state-printed schoolbooks left parents and guardians with difficult choices amid the country’s unprecedented economic crisis.
Years of war in Syria have impacted the country’s livestock sector, and farmers are selling or losing their herds due to feed shortages and high prices. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this past February deepened the sector’s crisis.
With Syria’s economy in shambles, residents of regime-held areas are looking for a way out of the country and into a “decent life.” Long lines, high passport fees and limited destinations stand in their way.