Moadimiyet residents dismiss Geneva II as irrelevant
November 13, 2013
GENEVA WHO?: An anonymous interviewer asks people living in Moadimiyet a-Sham, known as the “starving suburb” of Damascus, how political talks in Geneva will affect them. “Geneva II will not benefit us at all,” says a doctor whose face is not shown on camera. “If they wanted to help us, they would bring our children, women and elderly food and aid. Geneva has nothing to do with us.”
Just days after the opposition Syrian National Coalition announced its tentative willingness to attend Geneva II, the estimated 8,000 civilians remaining inside the blockaded town of Moadimiyet have more immediate concerns.
“Geneva II is a stalling tactic for the regime so they can keep killing more and more Syrians,” said another doctor, his face blurred to protect his identity.
Qusai Zakariya, a spokesman for the Moadimiya Media Center, expressed hope for the conference’s outcome but only if held under strict pre-conditions, including the delivery of aid to besieged areas like Moadimiyet.
“If pre-conditions are set – Bashar al-Assad giving up his role as president of Syria, releasing all his prisoners, delivering food and aid to besieged towns inside Syria, and ceasing the shelling and bombardment – I think this might, might be a good chance to stop the fighting across Syria,” Zakarya told Syria Direct on Wednesday.
In October, the Syrian Red Crescent completed three evacuations of approximately 4,000 citizens, but was unable to bring any supplies of food into the town.
Thus, while the National Coalition remains fiercely divided over whether, and under what conditions, it should attend the peace talks, opinions in this long-suffering East Ghouta suburb appear to coalesce around a common sentiment, voiced by another doctor tasked with treating those facing illness and starvation: “If we cannot eat Geneva II, we have no use for it.”