Snow fights, not gun fights, in one corner of Homs
December 12, 2013
SNOWBALL’S CHANCE: Young men in the blockaded Old Homs neighborhood of al-Dar al-Kabira men shoot snowballs at each other, a rare enjoyment in this corner of the city that is surrounded by Syrian regime forces.
Two teams play against each other, shouting for victory as though in battle. They invoke Allah’s name while playing, as they do when the regime attacks their neighborhood. “Injury! Take him away from here,” the guys call out, carrying the “injured” young man off the street as though wounded.
Beyond the snapshot of snowballs in the streets, a total of 16 neighborhoods in Homs are blockaded, which means nothing and no one can enter or leave. “No fuel, no electricity – nothing to make it easier for us,” Bebers al-Talawi, one of the most well-known citizen journalists still in Homs, told Syria Direct on Wednesday as snow fell over the city.
Old Homs has been under regime blockade for more than 500 days. “People gather pieces of wood that fall from buildings after regime attacks, then they dry it to use it later for heating purposes,” said al-Talawi.
On Wednesday, the Rastan Media Center reported that a child had died in the small town outside Homs because of the cold. “He didn’t die because of bullets or shrapnel, he died because it is cold,” said al-Talawi.
Opposition activists are predicting more deaths among refugees in temporary housing because of the snow.