December 1, 2013
The year-long government blockade of the Ghouta suburbs south and east of Damascus have led to a critical shortage of food, water and medicine forcing tens of thousands of Syrians to abandon their homes.
Abu Ali, his wife and five children fled Ghouta after the August 21 chemical attacks left more than 1,400 dead. His family exemplifies the plight of seven of Syria’s more than 5,000,000 internally displaced.
Abu Ali told Syria Direct’s Nuha Shabaan about his struggle to survive in Damascus and his disappointment in the Syrian Coordination Committees purporting to help IDPs.
Destruction in Ghouta. Photo courtesy of Lens Young Ghoutani’s Facebook Page
Q. Why did you flee your home?
A. My family and I were forced to flee from Ghouta as a result of heavy bombing from Assad forces and the lack of necessities to live: water, electricity, food, even medicine.
Q. Where are you now?
A. For almost a month we have been trying to find a house to rent inside Damascus but the cheapest one 30,000 Syrian Pounds [$214.40] a month, and we have to pay three months in advance, at least. In many places, the price is 50,000 SYP [$357.40] or more, with a six-month advance. This is in all neighborhoods: Meidan, al-Zahera, Bab Masleh, Kafr-Sousse, al-Muhajireen, al-Qanawat, al-Baramkeh, al-Mezze Rakan al-Din, al-Adawi, Damar, etc.
What I want to say, in my name and in the name of all the displaced people from many areas, is that we did not expect the people of Damascus [to treat us this way]. They disappointed us, and we feel betrayed. We had to rent house in sectarian neighborhoods supporting the regime, and we face daily inspections and humiliation.
Our hopes in Damascus and its people have been disappointed, and in all the Local Coordination Committees, without exception. They do not have any role in finding a solution to the tragedy. What hurts out hearts is that everyone shows sympathy with us, everyone is fasting a praying, but we discover how much we have been deceived.
The Prophet Mohammad said “Muslims are the brothers of Muslims.” But unfortunately we are wronging and humiliating each other more than regime forces are.
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