Bicycle powers mobile phones in blacked-out town


October 14, 2014

عدسة دمشقي

BLACKOUT: The battle for Syria’s oil and energy resources has meant years of power outages, leaving citizens on their own. 

Here, a man in the rebel-controlled suburb of Qadem takes his turn charging a group of cell phones powered by riding a stationary bicycle in a photograph posted on social media.

“It looks like all of our country will be like this in the future,” says one of the comments on Facebook.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” another commenter quipped.

The regime regularly cuts off electricity to opposition-controlled areas of Damascus, though government’s towns and cities also face power shortages.

“Thirty-two [electric] turbines out of the original 54 have stopped since the beginning of the conflict because of the lack of fuel,” said the Minister of Electricity, as quoted by pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan on Monday, “despite the fact that they are ready to produce energy.”

The shortage of oil, and therefore electricity, has been compounded by the Islamic State’s takeover of the oil-rich province Deir e-Zor and other oil-producing regions in eastern Syria, driving the price of fuel up nationwide.

Even in the Alawite-majority city of Latakia, the price of diesel has increased to 190 lira [$1.17] from 15 lira [$0.09] per liter since the beginning of the conflict, reported pro-opposition news agency Syria News Desk Monday.

-October 14, 2014

– Photo courtesy of Lens young Dimashqi.

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