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Posts Tagged ‘Aleppo

25 photos: Aleppo before and after the Syrian uprising

In 2011, Aleppo was Syria’s largest city with a population of 2.5 million people.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been described by Time as Syria’s commercial capital. (Turkey main goal was to take Aleppo and administer it because it was the main trade and industrial challenge to Turkey economy and its skilled artisans. Actually, Turkey dismantled most of the industrial complexes and shipped them to Turkey)

Author Diana Darke has written that “The city has long been multi-cultural, a complex mix of Kurds, Iranians, Turkmen, Armenians and Circassians overlaid on an Arab base in which multi-denominational churches and mosques still share the space.”

Since the battle for Aleppo began: at least 30,000 people have died and half its 2.5 million inhabitants have been forced to flee.

Barrel bombs, rockets and mortars along with conventional munition have destroyed 80% of the buildings, and of the old city’s 100 mosques, a quarter lie in ruins while the rest are badly damaged.

More than half of the listed buildings in the old city – including many souks, its famous citadel, the minaret of the 11th-century Omayyad mosque, along with bath houses, schools, hospitals and entire residential districts – have been reduced to rubble.

This is so sad to see a beautiful country turned to rubble. The following set of images shows exactly the real cost of war that many do not see.

Note: Turkey failed in its attempts to capture Aleppo and this city is back as Syria economic and industrial hub, and its skilled people are returning.

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Via BoredPanda

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 175

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

The confessional and religious divisions embedded in Lebanon’s system (since its creation) along with political familism[3] contribute to restrain the effective participation and emergence of new actors, notably women, thus limiting political turnover.

Next country the US is planning to destabilize is Pakistan. A decade of troubles to China and Russia?

Classifying biological weapons according to effects on specific races is the ultimate racist mentality.

Can we stop this masquerade? All businesses dealt with Germany and the USA, without exception, before, during and after WWI and WWII

If WWI was a colonial war, WWII was for disseminating USA hegemony. Dropping 2 atomic bombs on Japan was the Message. It alienated many allies, first of all, Stalin of the Soviet Union. We are still succumbing to this strategy.

Tu dois etre une coquette madame. Ta petite fille t’ observe and fais comme toi.

After WWII, businessmen sided with USA and most scientists defected to Soviet Union.

Growth in a capitalist system is a total nonsense: transactions in paper money increase, but the productivity of the society is in a free fall.

During the Ottoman Empire, Aleppo was the second most important city after Istanbul. Erdogan plan was to take over this city. Failing this, he stole all the industrial equipment and machinery and tried to destroy the city. Aleppo is back competing with the most industrial cities in Turkey

Absolute Monarchic Jordan counting the number of bread loafs consumed by Syrian refugees. Why it does Not emulate Angelina Jolie who focused on the dignity of the Syrian people?

Iza al Souri bi Sutchi ettabak 3ala Doustour, UN wa Vienna bit sour warana

Hezbollah ghannaj Nabih Berry kteer 7atta rekeb 3ala ktafhon wa baltaj bi esmihem. Ma te dakhlo majaaless mazhabiyyat “shar3iyyat” bi moumarassat al baltajat 

Urgent: ta3yyeen mas2oul fi Hezbollah la temsse7 joukh Nabih. Khallo al Sayyed yehtam bil mashakel al kharijiyyat. Ma 7ada fi ye la7e2 3ala dala3 wa terdayyet khawater Nabih

Review: Last Men in Aleppo

Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner

Last Men in Aleppo proposes a deeply felt, poignant portrait of a paradise lost

last men in aleppo

No poetry after Auschwitz,” the German philosopher Theodor Adorno famously declared in 1951.

The crisis of conscience that struck the Western world upon the discovery of Nazi concentration camps generated a profound crisis of representation (all the western nations knew, even ahead of the beginning of the holocaust of all minorities, and refused to negotiate anything).

Of the after the inconceivable, harrowing spectacle of extermination, the next step for art was unclear.

The ongoing Syrian Civil War—with its mass displacement, death, and evidence of war crimes—continues to have impact today, especially in the realm of documentary.

The Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Last Men in Aleppo sees World War II images of mass murder and destruction find their ghastly contemporary counterparts in the besieged Syrian city wrecked by missile attacks and destitution: dead babies, ripped-apart bodies, and decimated buildings suggest the end of the world as well as that of the medium. (Aleppo is currently flourishing and the former industrialists have returned and exporting to Iraq. Turkey is Not happy with this former prime competitor city)

What is the next step for cinema after our laying eyes on such unspeakable horrors?

(The battle for reconquering Mosul was even more harrowing: 50,000 deaths and countless injuries. And Al Raqqa is flattened and a ghost city)

The apocalyptic imagery of Syrian director Firas Fayyad’s Last Men in Aleppo is so heightened as to evoke science fiction, but it reflects his country’s quotidian reality since 2012, when governmental repression of nationwide protests against President Assad escalated into a gruesome civil war.

The film depicts Aleppo’s siege from the point of view of members of the White Helmets, the volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing civilians hit by Russian and Syrian air strikes. (Basically funded by the US to provide videos and accounts of atrocities to blame the Syrian regime)

The repetitive, mechanical rhythm of rescue operations imbues the narrative with a nightmarish quality: as deformed and colorless bodies are dragged out of the rubble one after another, the living and the dead become indistinguishable to our eye.

Fayyad employs an unobtrusive observational style that viscerally involves the audience in the frenetic rescue sequences and conveys a striking sense of intimacy during nocturnal interludes in barren interiors where the drained men exchange hopes and concerns.

Such scenes, coupled with occasional recreational moments like a football match among the ruins and a visit to the playground with the children on a sunny day, brighten the otherwise bleak and claustrophobic mood.

But paradise and hell have become interchangeable in Aleppo, and what begins as play quickly turns into terror when a new threat presents itself. (Like when Israel bombed a beach in Gaza, killing an entire family, where kids were playing soccer)

last men in aleppo

The question of escaping the crumbled, dismal town frequently comes up among the men: their kids are growing up in confinement and lack proper food and medical care. (Kids in Yemen are Not fairing as well and dying of famine, diphtheria and cholera)

But that life will be easier elsewhere is simply an illusion. Leaving means enduring even more dreadful conditions in refugee camps at the Turkish border and perhaps being stranded there, or embarking on a perilous journey across the sea to reach Europe and possibly dying along the way.

The sensitive and spirited Khaled—a former painter who was proclaimed “the hero of Aleppo” after rescuing a baby from the rubble—offers poetic resistance as the solution, building a colorful fishpond in his backyard in an attempt to inject some beauty into the infernal landscape.

It may be tempting to draw comparisons between Last Men in Aleppo and other documentaries addressing the same subject, like The White Helmets, but against the Orientalist sensationalism of the latter, what Last Men in Aleppo proposes is a deeply felt, poignant portrait of a paradise lost.

Fayyad has devoted himself to documenting his country’s collapse since the 2011 uprisings and was even imprisoned and tortured by authorities for his work.

An inherently personal endeavor, his movie is permeated with a heartrending sense of mourning over his nation’s shattered identity as well as his own. When the filmmaker dreamily glides his camera across Aleppo’s ruins, he is not merely moving in counterpoint to the chaos but rather unnervingly revealing all that has vanished, in a simultaneous annihilation by war of his country’s past and future.

And in the terrible limbo that is the present, only Khaled’s goldfish continue to provide some warmth of emotion amid the horror.


Yonca Talu is a filmmaker living in Paris. She grew up in Istanbul and graduated from NYU Tisch.

Photo Album of Aleppo: before and after Syria upheaval

ALEP À.ELLES.EUX.PAIX

Livre de photos par Ammar Abd Rabbo et de textes d’intellectuels, édité par Noir Blanc et Caetera,
Jessie Bali. Beyrouth, Lebanon
Les éditions «Noir Blanc Et Caetera» se proposent de réunir dans un recueil hommage à Alep, ville martyre, des photographies inédites prises par Ammar Abd Rabbo. Intellectuels, journalistes, historiens, écrivains, amoureux de la Syrie – et d’Alep en particulier- ont contribué à la rédaction de ce témoignage unique en commentant chacun une photo de cet ouvrage exceptionnel

Le cadre
Ce recueil n’est pas un ouvrage nostalgique de la « belle époque » de la ville, ni un traité diplomatique sur les négociations, ni un état des lieux des forces militaires sur place.

C’est une photographie d’Alep aujourd’hui, avec les peurs des uns et les espoirs des autres…
Le coup de projecteur d’Ammar Abd Rabbo, photographe syrien à la renommée internationale, est d’autant plus précieux qu’il porte un regard à la fois personnel et tendre sur la ville phare de son pays, l’une des plus vieilles villes du monde à avoir été constamment habitée (depuis le VIe millénaire av. J.-C.) grâce à son emplacement stratégique des points de vue militaire et commercial entre la mer Méditerranée et la Mésopotamie.

D’ailleurs, le centre de la ville a été classé au patrimoine mondial de l’humanité par l’Unesco en 1986. Ce centre-ville est aujourd’hui en ruines.

Les contributeurs
Christophe Boltanski: journaliste, écrivain et chroniqueur français, lauréat du prix Femina 2015 pour son roman « La cache ». Il s’est rendu en reportage en 2012 à Alep.
Edith Bouvier: journaliste indépendante, elle a été blessée et bloquée pendant plusieurs jours à Homs en couvrant le conflit syrien. Auteur de «  Chambre avec vue sur la guerre » (Éditions Flammarion). Elle sest rendue en reportage en 2014 à Alep.
Nora Charabati Joumblatt: d’origine syrienne, elle est la présidente du Festival de Beiteddine et du « Children Cancer Center Lebanon ».  Également fondatrice de l’ONG libanaise « Kayany » (2013) qui a pour but de scolariser les enfants syriens. Sept écoles ont déjà vu le jour. Née à Damas, Nora Charabati Joumblatt est « Aleppine de cœur ».


Magyd Cherfi: chanteur, écrivain et acteur français d’origine algérienne, membre du groupe toulousain « Zebda ». Magyd Cherfi a donné des concerts dans les années 1990 à Alep.
Jean-Pierre Filiu: universitaire français, historien et arabisant, spécialiste de l’Islam contemporain et  diplomate en Syrie. Il sest rendu plusieurs fois à Alep dans les années 1990 puis plus récemment en 2013, et a effectué une visite marquante suite à laquelle il a publié « Je vous écris d’Alep » (Éditions Denoël).
Nicolas Hénin: grand reporter indépendant (Le Point, Arte) et journaliste d’investigation, auteur de « Jihad Academy » (Éditions Fayard, 2015) et de « La France russe- Enquête sur les réseaux Poutine » (Éditions Fayard, 2016). Il a été retenu en otage à Alep en 2014.
Salam Kawakibi: politologue d’origine syrienne et directeur adjoint de l’Initiative de réforme arabe. Ancien directeur de l’Institut français du Proche-Orient, à Alep.
Marie Seurat: épouse de Michel Seurat, sociologue et chercheur au CNRS, mort à 37 ans en captivité. Née à Alep où elle a passé son enfance, elle est lauteur de louvrage « Les corbeaux d’Alep », (Éditions Gallimard, 1989).
Camille de Rouvray: enseignante de Français Langue Étrangère (FLE). Lauréate du prix Panorama des idées « Grand récit » 2015 pour son livre « Quitter Alep en guerre » (Éditions Bord de L’eau, 2014). Elle a vécu et travaillé à Alep de 2009 à 2012.

L’objectif
Nous avons besoin de 10 000 USD afin que ce projet voie le jour. Le préfinancement paiera la production, l’impression (1 000 exemplaires) et le lancement du livre. L’argent  collecté permettra la réalisation d’un très bel ouvrage.

À noter que 8 % de la somme iront dans la part de contribution à reverser à Indiegogo.
Si la somme demandée est dépassée, le surplus permettra d’augmenter le tirage du livre et/ou de mettre en route la version anglaise également en gestation.
En adhérant à notre formule de prévente du livre pour le prix préférentiel de 33 USD au lieu de 38 USD vous contribuerez ainsi à assurer la faisabilité de ce projet dont le lancement est prévu pour décembre.
Cette levée de fonds est une manière efficace de faire connaître cette publication  au plus grand nombre de personnes possible et de la préfinancer.

Derrière lobjectif
Qui est Ammar Abd Rabbo ?
Ammar Abd Rabbo est un journaliste et photographe français et syrien, né à Damas. Il a vécu à Tripoli (Libye) et à Beyrouth (Liban) avant de s’installer en France à l’âge de douze ans.

Ancien élève de “Sciences Po” (IEP Paris), il a travaillé depuis 1990 avec de nombreuses agences internationales comme Sygma, Sipa Press, Abaca Press, et c’est un collaborateur régulier de l’Agence France Press (AFP).

En plus de vingt-cinq ans de reportages photographiques, il a couvert aussi bien les coulisses des concerts de Michael Jackson que les inondations causées par l’ouragan « Katrina » à la Nouvelle-Orléans (2005), ou encore la guerre en Irak (2003), au Liban (2006) ou les révolutions arabes en Libye (2011) et à Alep, en Syrie, en 2013 et 2014.

Il a signé plus d’une soixantaine de couvertures de magazines très différents comme Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Le Point, L’Express…

Noir Blanc Et Caetera , qui sommes-nous ?
« Noir Blanc Et Caetera » est la dernière-née des maisons d’éditions au Liban. Elle se propose d’être innovatrice dans son domaine, à savoir proposer à l’auteur un maximum d’avantages et lui donner un droit de regard sur son ouvrage, depuis sa conception jusqu’à son impression.

C’est une maison qui fait de la résistance culturelle dans un pays où s’exprimer librement devient de plus en plus difficile.
Fondée en 2012, “Noir Blanc Et Caetera” a déjà plus de 20 publications à son actif. De nombreux projets sont en cours pour 2016 et 2017.

What do know about Aleppo?

Nabih Bulos

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson had some trouble recognizing the name of a major Syrian city on Thursday. “What is Aleppo?” he asked in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” (In his defense, he claimed that he thought it was an acronym.)

1. What is Aleppo?

It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, located in Syria’s north.

It’s situated between the Mediterranean Sea and what was once known as Mesopotamia, now known as Iraq. (Aleppo is also the name of the surrounding province.)

2. It’s got a rich history.

Aleppo has been an important trading center since the 2nd millennium B.C. and was a node on the Silk Road.

Gary Johnson may never have heard of the city, but Shakespeare did back in the early 17th century. In “Macbeth,” one of the witches torments a sailor’s wife, whose “husband’s to Aleppo gone.”

3. In modern times, Aleppo was Syria’s largest city.

More than 2 million people lived there when the 2004 census was taken.

It was also the pride of Syrian industry.

Large factories produced everything there from textiles to processed gold to laurel soap, all of which would fill markets in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere. (Syria was debt free for over 3 decades: colonial Europe could Not suffer this financial autonomy))

It was a tourist draw as well. Travelers meandering through the pedestrian walkways of the souk — the city’s medieval marketplace — would look up to take in the grandeur of its mighty citadel, then take a break to experience Aleppo’s food, a melange of Levantine cuisine sprinkled with Turkish, Persian and Armenian influence.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Thank you. Because I previously only thought it would be disatrous if people took the libertarian party seriously, let alone its candidate for president.

4. It’s a major flashpoint of the Syrian war.

Although the city resisted being drawn into the Syrian uprising when it began in 2011, opposition forces advanced into the towns and villages around it and eventually breached the city itself in July 2012.

By 2013, the government and the opposition were locked in a stalemate. The opposition held the east, and the government controlled the west.

Since then, each side has repeatedly tried to oust the other from the city, with varying degrees of success.

5. It’s hard to say how many people live there now.

The U.N. says there are more than 1.5 million people in government-controlled neighborhoods. On the east side, accurate figures are harder to come by, but the area is thought to hold up to 200,000 people. Some opposition activists say the number is 300,000.

6. The city has become a symbol for Syria’s suffering.

Russian and Syrian warplanes pound the rebel side, leaving hundreds dead and wounded just in the last month. Meanwhile, the opposition hurls thousands of repurposed gas canisters and home-made mortars from “hell cannons” and other weapons. (And chemical bombs too?)

In August alone, 218 civilians were killed as a result of government airstrikes on opposition-controlled neighborhoods, according to the pro-opposition watchdog group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Rebel bombardment also killed 178 civilians in government-held areas in August, the group said.

7. No, it’s not the capital of the self-declared Islamic State.

(That would be Raqqah).

Yes, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, did call Aleppo that.

Islamic State fighters are not in the city of Aleppo, but there is a confederation of Islamist and so-called moderate, Western-supported rebels fighting against pro-government forces there.

8. Aleppo is now in the center of a diplomatic duel between the U.S. and Russia.

Again, the fate of the city takes on an outsize importance in regional affairs.

A breakthrough there, world powers hope, will usher in a larger ceasefire and present a path toward resolving the five-year Syrian civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands (the U.N. stopped counting a few years ago), ravaged the country and spurred a global refugee crisis.

Note 1: Turkey’s plan is to re-distribute the Syrian population. The Syrian Moslem brotherhood are shipped from the city of Edleb (on the border with Turkey) to North Syria to form a buffer zone with the kurds. There will be no end to the plight of these Syrians belonging to Al Nusra ideology

Note 2: There are a few historians who compare current Syria with Syria during the 11th century: Damascus was the center of power for the Sunnis against Aleppo that was mostly in the hands of the rebel sects (karamitah, shia, minority sects…).
If the Syrian government win this worldwide war against it, that would be proof enough that the Sunnis in Damascus are against the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood movement, attached to Turkey and following its orders.
Likewise, the Sunnis in the western part of Aleppo who want to be part of a unified Syrian nation, regardless of the current regime. Actually, the regime is different from the one before 2011.

Note 3: Over 350,000 mercenaries were dispatched into Syria since 2011. Turkey, Saudi Kingdom and Europe sent 25,000 each. The weapons came from the fallen Libyan State and Saudi Kingdom, q1atar and the Gulf Emirates bought weapons from the USA, England, France and Germany to sustain this destabilizing plan on the Syrian people.

Note 4: East Aleppo is currently totally surrounded by the Syrian troops and a political settlement is being worked out to withdraw the rebels fighters outside Aleppo.

How to be grateful for what you have?
Rida Mawla posted this link. August 16 at 11:40am ·

This is a personal experience that I would like to share with as many people as possible.

Today, as I was getting out of the US embassy, extatic for having gotten a new tourist Visa, I see a US passport on the ground, and a gentleman standing right by it.

He didn’t seem to have noticed it, as he was preocupied with a huge pile of papers in his hands, with a slight grin and signs of distress on his face.

So I rushed to pick it up and deliver it to the embassy guard, who apparently had received a report about it missing earlier in the morning.

I come back and smile at that gentleman, telling him how unjust sometimes life is…

Some of us stand in line for endless hours, with their endless piles of papers, waiting for that glimmer, that chance to leave on a vacation, for education, or for business… while some people are lucky to have that priviledge and take it for granted.

He smiles back at me, quite silent in his demeanor…

He hesitantly asks: “are you headed back to Beirut by any chance?”. I say yes; so he kindly asks me if I can give him a ride. At that point, I noticed his undistinguishable Aleppan accent.

Smooth, yet firm in his words. And so we went…

On the way back I couldn’t hold myself from asking him about his hometown, his family, his friends, the war, the rebels, the regime. I felt a bit embarassed for asking so many question, but the kindness and humbleness he displayed were out of this world.

Mahmoud had escaped Aleppo, which in and of itself is a miracle, a couple of days ago.

He is a med student who is yet to complete his residency.

The war in Syria shattered that dream for the moment. His younger borther is a pharmacist who managed to go to Germany on assylum. His youngest brother is a civil engineer. He is stuck in Aleppo with his brother and parents, and was hoping to get that chance to go to the US, all the while knowing that he will have to leave his family behind.

He got accepted into a language program in the US, but his visa was rejected. The consulate official told him that while he is qualified, there is no guarantee that he wouldn’t stay in the US.

I drove him to the bus station, where he was to catch a bus to Damascus, and wait for the right moment to sneak back into Aleppo.

The absurdity of this encounter was beyond anything I have ever experienced…

Here I was, complaining about a silly passport, while this brave man was risking his entire life and leaving his entire family in the most brutalized city on earth today with the hopes of getting an opportunity to work and give to the world.

And when he did not get that chance, he simply hitchhiked his way back to the place he escaped to be with his family.

You try to rationalize things as much as you can, but there is a point where you just can’t do it anymore.

Really, why? Honestly, why? I don’t think I will ever get an answer to this most agonizing question. And what’s worse is that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change any part of this absurd reality.

So I decided to share this experience, with the frustrating realization that this is really the only thing I can do for Mahmoud at this moment…

And I got an answer for another question: be grateful for what you have. Be grateful.

 

One Photo of a Syrian Child Caught the World’s Attention. These 7 Went Unnoticed.

By ANNE BARNARD and HWAIDA SAAD

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Omran Daqneesh, a small Syrian boy from the embattled rebel-held section of Aleppo, somehow snapped to attention millions of people around the world, who watched and shared the arresting video of him as he wiped dried blood and thick soot from his face.

The widespread interest in 5-year-old Omran surprised the doctors who treated him, the photographer who shot the video and many Syrians who wondered whether the world had only just discovered how children have suffered every day in a war that has raged for more than five years.

On Saturday, Omran’s 10-year-old brother, Ali, died of wounds he suffered during the same attack, medical workers said.

Ali’s death, which did not draw the same instant social media outpouring as Omran’s suffering, only underscored how many Syrian children are dying under the radar of the wider world.

Omran was injured on Wednesday by either a Syrian or a Russian airstrike — Russia has denied involvement — that destroyed the building where his family lived in eastern Aleppo.

On Thursday, a pro-government website published a photograph of a young girl that it said was hurt — around the same time as Omran — by rebel mortar attacks on the government-held western side of the city.

The rebels have no air power, (but chemical weapons and missiles and tanks and canons?) and the devastation in Aleppo has been greater on the rebel-held side

Adding to the many photos “unnoticed”

mobile.nytimes.com|By Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad
Syria’s Cinderella?

One monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that 100 children had died on the city’s eastern side this month alone, and 49 on the western side. (And the US was angry when safe passages were opened to fleeing Syrians)

For each family, the loss is immeasurable. And there are children constantly caught up in battles in other places, on all sides, across war-torn Syria.

Omran’s picture has resonated for reasons obvious and unknowable. Here are images of seven of the many other children treated in the past week at hospitals in the same region (and in other regions? Selective propaganda images?).

They are taken from among several that were posted by doctors and other residents of Aleppo on a WhatsApp group for journalists.

Ahmad Tadifi, 2

Doctors did not know who this child was when he arrived at the same hospital that treated Omran. On Wednesday, Ahmad had been separated from his family — as happens to many children in the chaotic aftermath of an attack — in the Mashhad neighborhood of Aleppo.

He underwent surgery for serious injuries to his head, groin and right arm and leg. Later identified, Ahmad was kept in the intensive care unit of the hospital along with his father.

Late on Friday, he died from his injuries.

Rouwaida, 5, and Rana Hanoun, 7 months

The Hanoun sisters were wounded on Wednesday in the same airstrike that injured Omran.

They were among 12 children under 15 who were treated at the same hospital in Aleppo. Both of the girls had suffered shrapnel wounds, but were treated and then released on Thursday morning.

Doctors shared their picture with the WhatsApp group around the same time they shared the photograph of Omran.

Aisel Hajar, 2

Aisel suffered wounds to her head and to one of her legs on Tuesday, and was treated at Al Quds hospital.

The severity of her injuries could not be confirmed because doctors were busy treating new cases. But activists have nicknamed her “Syria’s Cinderella” because of a picture that one took of her shoes — Mary Janes, worn with white socks.

Amal, 4, and Hikmat Hayouk, 6

The Hayouk siblings suffered cuts and bruises when an aircraft opened fire on Wednesday over the Sakhour neighborhood, and they were treated around the same time and at the same hospital as Omran.

The children’s wounds were relatively minor, but an adult relative suffered a critical neck wound.

An unidentified boy

Efforts to identify this boy, below, were unsuccessful. He was treated on Tuesday night at the Omar Hospital and released, said Baraa al-Halabi, a citizen journalist who photographed him.

None of the medical workers who could be reached remembered the boy, which is not unusual in the overwhelmed hospitals.

Four children, no picture

At 3 a.m. Saturday, a barrel bomb landed on a house in the Jalloum quarter of Aleppo’s old city, destroying the house and killing seven members of one family — including all four children — said Abdelkafi al-Hamdo, a friend of the father’s.

The children were Aisha, 12; Mohammad, 11; Obaida, 7; and Afraa, 6. There is no picture of their injuries to show because they were pulled dead from the rubble.

Their father, Ali Abu Joud, recorded this video of three of his children’s bodies wrapped in shrouds. His voice can be heard breaking as he tells them goodbye, calling them “habibati” — my darlings — “birds of heaven, gone to the one who is better, gone to God.”

Notes:

Pictures and videos can make a slight difference. If the world media conglomerates were Not owned by US and Saudi Kingdom, this ugly and savage civil war in Syria would have ended long time ago. So many brutal casualties were committed throughout Syria but the media turned a blind eye.

The same case for the Yemeni children dying from malnutrition and lack of basic medicines.

Same case for South Sudan

And Ethiopia where the government has been killing demonstrators

And No coverage of the suffering in Eritrea (controlled by the US and Israel)

Aleppo Ripping Itself Apart?

By LINA SERGIE ATTAR. August 13, 2016

In June 2011, the last time I was in Aleppo, I visited my grandmother’s home every day. I obsessively photographed the apartment where my father grew up and where I spent much of my youth. I snapped shots of her wooden doors and balcony, our family’s antiques arranged in the glass vitrine, her organized kitchen cabinets and my grandfather’s proud portrait in the dining room.

I took only a few sentimental pieces with me when I left to go back to my home in America. I wish I had taken everything.

My grandmother’s apartment is on a tiny street tucked between parallel one-way boulevards, one traveling southeast toward the heart of old Aleppo, and the other running northwest to the city’s expansive outlying neighborhoods. This diverse part of the city, in the west, has largely avoided the destruction of the war swirling around it — so far.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Tragic to watch what you love be slowly destroyed

Watching My Beloved Aleppo Ripping Itself Apart?
Dispassionate analysts of Syria’s war discuss maps that rudely impose their lines over the city where I grew up.
nytimes.com|By Lina Sergie Attar

Aleppo, where I spent my adolescent years, where I went to college and became an adult before returning to the United States, where I was born, has been split in two since 2012.

The west side is in the clutches of the government, and the east is held by rebel forces (transformed into terrorist Al Nusra?).

Over the last four years, brutal territorial battles tore through the city, dividing neighborhoods that had been interwoven for centuries. Some two million people (including thousands of displaced Syrians) live in relative safety in the west, while over 250,000 live in the east, which has been subjected to years of indiscriminate aerial bombardment by the government’s barrel bombs and, since last year, Russian airstrikes.

Aleppo is the last major city where the rebels control significant territory, and President Bashar al-Assad thinks that capturing it could bring him close to so-called victory. In July, his forces tightened the noose around eastern Aleppo to wage yet another brutal “kneel or starve” campaign. Supplies of food and medicine were choked off; hundreds of civilians died. (And the USA and Europe were angry that passages were opened for people to flee?)

At the beginning of August, the power struggle on the ground shifted unexpectedly. Activists set thousands of tires alight, creating huge clouds of black smoke, a weak attempt at a homemade no-fly zone to hide the east side from Russian airplanes. (The planes are Not bombing inside Aleppo)

The rebel groups forged a fragile coalition and joined forces with the Levant Conquest Front, an Islamist group that recently was called the Nusra Front and was previously Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

Together, they battled Mr. Assad’s troops and their Hezbollah militia allies. On Aug. 6, they broke the siege. Trucks from nearby Idlib brought the trapped civilians fresh food for the first time in weeks. (Trucks could not enter since the route is at fire distance from the Syrian troops).

Meanwhile, Russian jets struck nearby towns with incendiary bombs in retaliation. The bodies of fighters piled up in trucks like dead cattle. (What of the chemical gases dispatched by al Zinki terrorists group inside Aleppo?)

As the battle unfolded, analysts on social media discussed events in real time with a zeal that comes only with detachment. Some said this battle would (again) tip the scales of the war. Others claimed that the rebels’ victory meant the bloody end was (again) near.

A favorite tool of the dispassionate Syria analyst is a map: red and green blobs showing a shifting front line, which streets are held by rebels and which by the government. These wretched maps rudely superimpose their lines over the landmarks of my life: On the east are the people I grew to love through the revolution, men, women and children who defied all odds and stood chanting in the face of one of the most ruthless regimes in history. (used as human shields?)

On the west are my streets, my school, my university, my home.

I study these maps and calculate how far my home sits from the moving front line. As my neighborhood shifts sides from west to east, from red to green, will it be the next target of Mr. Assad’s barrel bombs?

Or will it be left to the mercy of the rebels, who promised not to loot or destroy private property or kill civilians? Why should my home be spared when millions of others’ weren’t?

This is what it feels like to watch your city rip itself apart: a constant oscillation between guilt and relief, fear and pride.

When I watch footage from Ramouseh, the southwestern district where the siege was broken, I turn my eyes away from the bearded men with guns and instead marvel at the rich red soil, which for centuries has nurtured Aleppo’s famous olives, pistachios and sour cherries.

In videos of people in eastern Aleppo celebrating their relief from the siege, I scan the row of limestone buildings and count the undamaged facades, finding hope in each one.

On the map, the fault line inches toward the Hamdaniyeh, the western gateway into the city, which is the neighborhood of my best friend’s home. I remember standing with her on her on the balcony in 2011, looking over her mother’s meticulous gardens filled with flowering trees, statues and fountains.

The hot afternoon wind from the west was strong that day and carried the scent of jasmine. She said her father had told her to say goodbye to this place. I shielded my tearing eyes from the sun, the wind and my friend. I didn’t believe her. I believed in the revolution that would give everyone a chance to reach their potential — not just those of us who had lived in a bubble of privilege — and for freedom, dignity and a life without fear that Syrians had been denied for decades.

I didn’t photograph our own home the way I did my grandmother’s. Even then, even when the war was still far from Aleppo, I feared that to do so would be to admit the unthinkable: I would never return. Since then, my undocumented home has been ravaged and looted by security forces. Return seems as impossible as rewinding time.

The fighting in Aleppo continues.

The map could shift again if the rebels cut off regime-held parts of the city, the besieged be sieging. As uncertainty looms, our collective memory — the foundation of every Aleppian’s identity — remains.

We are incapable of forgetting the past. We can’t erase the memory of our Umayyad Mosque’s bombed minaret, our Queiq River where bloated, tortured corpses were dumped by security forces and fished out by the victims’ families; our scorched bazaars and ancient buildings reduced to rubble. We will never forget what Aleppo was like before there was a west or east side, before there were sieges and barrel bombs, before there was a single refugee.

Since March 2011, the definition of “victory” has shifted for Syrians. For the forces fighting on the ground, victory is waged in battles for land, inch by inch, checkpoint by checkpoint, constantly drawing new maps, and leaving destruction in their aftermath.

For the world powers, victory is containing and combating the terrorist extremists within Syria’s borders and forsaking everyone else.

For Syrians like me, who believed in a just revolution, who wanted an end to the oppressive Assad dynasty, the meaning of victory has changed. Victory now includes things we had never imagined five years ago: to not mourn the death of yet another friend;

to take a Syrian beggar child off a Turkish, Lebanese or Jordanian street and send her back to school;

to end the forced starvation of Syrians living under siege;

to root for our Olympic swimmer who swam across the Aegean and now competes not as a Syrian but as a refugee. Victory will be when we weld Syria’s broken map together and our country becomes recognizable again.

 

Why arming rebels will fuel Syria’s inferno

Aleppo is the main industrial hub in Syria, is a microcosm of Syria, and Aleppo is dying

The Syrian conflict is taking another dramatic turn as the militant jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, rout rebels from their strongholds in Idlib.

These extremist factions are threatening to eliminate entirely any presence by moderate rebels in northern Syria, as the Islamic State has already done in the east.

SummaryPrint Arming Syria’s rebels is a dangerous move that will only result in prolonging the war and potentially empowering extremists.
Edward Dark Posted November 6, 2014

The focus is now turning to Aleppo, where rebels are making their last stand against both the encroaching forces of the regime and the jihadists. (Over 300,000 are besieged and trapped in east-north Aleppo)

Will they be left to face their fate alone as in Idlib, or will someone come to their rescue? If yes, who and how?

If the French and Turks have their way, they might yet be saved, but at present it appears that the United States has finally given up on its former rebel allies, writing them off completely.

So in Aleppo, people are buzzing with questions and seeking answers. This once-vibrant metropolis has been reduced to little more than a sad, distorted shadow of its former beauty and glory.

Cold, rubble-strewn streets crisscross the deserted and largely devastated neighborhoods of its rebel-held east, while daylight hours in its regime-held west bring the hectic bustle of a battered and weary population desperately trying to go about daily life and survive.

The night brings darkness and solitude to both, but no comfort or respite, as their hapless inhabitants hunker down, shivering from the cold and in fear of the constant sound of gunfire, shelling and explosions.

Life in this city is terrible and has been for more than two years now, ever since the civil war that tore apart the Syrian nation dropped anchor and rudely barged into my hometown. Since then, my city has been a place of constant war and destruction, which its inhabitants struggle to survive amid abject misery and suffering.

Its collapsed economy and infrastructure mean that even the most essential necessities are scarce or beyond the reach of most people. The specter of death constantly hovers above their heads forebodingly, ready to whisk them or their loved ones away at a moment’s notice.

Aleppo is a microcosm of Syria. The suffering here is just as real and horrible as it is everywhere else. It does not distinguish friend from foe or regime loyalist from opposition supporter. It affects us all.

Ironically, this shared suffering might be the only thing that unites Syrians now, but I believe they are also united by an urgent desire to stop the suffering and end the war and killing that is causing it. We are no longer interested in who was to blame or even who gets to crown his glorious victory on a throne made from the debris of our broken cities and mortared with the blood and broken skulls of our children.

Our desires, however, run contrary to the wishes of the powers that hold all the cards in our country’s civil war. Our voices fall on deaf ears in what is the ultimate paradox of attempting to bring about peace by promoting more violence and war, or so it would appear if the eternal refrain of a “peacefully negotiated political settlement” is to be taken at face value.

Those who justify the continuation of our death and suffering either do so on the premise of liberating our lives from tyranny or on the premise of protecting it from extremism. Both are lies, of course, but they do have one truth in common as we jokingly note here: They all want to “liberate” our lives from this earthly world.

This cause will certainly not be helped by arming the “moderate” rebels with no clear strategy for the day after or how to plausibly bring this conflict to an end. All it will do is indefinitely prolong the war and our suffering. It would be a rehashing of previous strategies that not only failed to achieved their objectives, but spectacularly backfired.

The Western- and Gulf-backed umbrella opposition group in Istanbul is a disorderly mess that has no credibility or actual influence in Syria, as the rebels who were meant to provide that power on the ground are now a spent force. They stalled in their push to topple the regime in mid-2012, when they had the best chance.

Worst of all, they failed miserably at providing even a semblance of stability or civil rule to the areas under their control, allowing instead a degeneration into infighting between organized crime syndicates that parasitically fed off their own people and created power vacuums waiting to be filled by shrewd and opportunistic extremists.

This, coupled with the desperation of seeing their lives and homes devastated by the regime’s air force, missiles and barrel bombs drove many Syrians toward radicalization and into the hands of those extremists who offered a better deal, spiritually as well as on the battlefield.

Since then, the rebels have been superseded by the more effective and more disciplined militant jihadists and driven back by the forces of a resurgent regime heavily backed by its powerful allies on the battlefield and off it.

Unless one can fix the serious, inherent flaws of the opposition and rebels, then arming them would not only be counterproductive, but also potentially very dangerous, as many of them have been taking their weapons and defecting to jihadist groups. Arming the rebels is de facto arming the extremists, period.

Resurrecting a strategy that spectacularly failed in the past and expecting it to work this time around shows a striking inability to grasp basic concepts or smacks of desperation and confusion, which is bad news for the millions of Syrians whose lives are directly affected by such decisions.

The demise of the moderate Syrian rebels will see the influence of the West and Turkey in Syria’s civil war greatly dwindle, which is why they are loath to see them go. This loss has been a work in progress as the Islamists’ power and influence have grown. They are on two sides of a seesaw, a problem that the Gulf states of Qatar and Saudi do not have, as they have been busy financing and supporting some of these Islamists groups for some time.

The machinations of the many actors and their proxies in my country ensured that its people would never see the freedom they were tantalizingly promised. Instead, they got a cynical war driven by others’ malevolent interests. Someone brought Pandora’s box to Syria and opened it.

No wonder they are struggling to put the demons back inside; the monsters they have unleashed are now coming for them.

It appears there might finally be a faint glimmer of hope, as a bit of sanity calling for change has resulted in tentative, broad backing for moves toward localized cease-fires and a “freezing” of the conflict, news that will be welcomed by the vast majority of Syrians. Until then, however, we are stuck in limbo, waiting for our nightmare to end. In the meantime, please don’t make our plight even more unbearable.

Don’t throw more fuel at the inferno consuming us 10 dozen souls at a time. Don’t arm the rebels.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/syria-rebels-arming-dangerous-extremists.html##ixzz3IPaU4JtH

Resilient stubborn fatalism in rebel held enclaves? Or inability to leave?

Syrians in rebel-held areas have borne near-daily attacks, enduring President Bashar Assad’s military might with a resilience bordering on stubborn fatalism.

The family members stood shivering on a balcony in Aleppo’s Anadan suburb as midnight approached, their sleep interrupted by the nightly duty of a government helicopter pilot somewhere above them.

They followed the sound of the helicopter’s whirring blades as well as scratchy updates coming over a walkie-talkie from rebels spread throughout the area.

News came in that the helicopter had dropped two barrel bombs — oil drums filled with TNT that can level buildings — on nearby towns.

In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, a kebab vendor works in the midst of a destroyed building. As Syria’s war rages on, Aleppo is a city under gradual demolition, with a shrinking civilian population struggling to survive . More photos

They knew that the helicopters can carry up to four of the bombs. They waited for the last two.

Below them, lights came on in basement bunkers as others sought a small measure of protection.

Khansa Laila walked out onto the balcony cloaked in several layers but still shaking in the nighttime chill.

“I woke up from the sound of the alarm, so I’m still cold,” she said referring to the warning system the town’s residents installed. “Also, fear makes you cold.”

Against a starry sky, a series of red streaks from a 14.5-millimeter machine gun shot upward. But the streaks rose and fell without striking their target, their reach far less than the height of the aircraft.

Eventually the sound of the helicopter grew faint and was replaced by that of a warplane.

“We don’t take the warplanes seriously anymore,” Laila said. “They launch rockets that are precise, but helicopters drop barrel bombs that can destroy dozens of homes with one barrel.”

The family went to sleep that night to the sound of machine-gun fire and the occasional rocket.

For more than 3 months, Aleppo’s opposition-held neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs have been terrorized nearly daily by barrel bombs unleashed from helicopters. The bombs, TNT-filled oil drums that can level buildings, have killed more than 2,000 people, activists estimate.  More photos

Three years into Syria’s conflict, the cacophony of war has become a familiar companion to daily life here in the country’s largest city, the sad soundtrack to its gradual demolition and a shrinking civilian population struggling to survive.

Those still in the city have adjusted to enduring the brunt of President Bashar Assad‘s military might with a resilience that borders on stubborn fatalism.

In a shoe store, a woman tries on a pair of wedge heels and deems them not comfortable enough “to flee” in. A 1-year-old with curly hair and big brown eyes speaks mostly in mumbles, but one word she knows clearly: tabit — it fell.

“A barrel falls and 10 minutes later people return to what they were doing,” said Muhammad, a young man working at a makeshift gas station: 12 oil drums resting on their sides serving six varieties of gasoline.

Hours earlier, a barrel bomb had struck the Sakhour roundabout, hitting three vehicles and killing eight people. With the blood fresh on the pavement, motorists stopped and peered at the carnage.

The next day people walked by without a glance; the destroyed vehicles had become one more addition to the city’s apocalyptic backdrop.

“Every day we see the names of the dead scrolling across the TV screen; they’ve just become numbers,” one man said. “When I was a kid and someone died we mourned for 40 days, the TV could not be turned on. Now someone dies on one side and you turn around and watch a soap opera.”

Since the government’s barrel bomb offensive began in late December, the city and suburbs have traded off bearing the burden of the attacks.

On a recent day in an Aleppo vegetable market, a warplane’s low rumble halted all transactions and conversation.

Unripe almonds and lettuce were momentarily forgotten as everyone turned their faces upward to track the plane by its sound. Drivers slowed down and stuck their heads out the window to look up.

Not until the rumble had faded, leaving only a billowy white trail across the sky, did the people return their attention to the mundane particulars of life. The plane was now the concern of another Aleppo neighborhood.

As he drove away from the market, Saleh Laila said, “If it had been a helicopter, they would watch it till it dropped the barrel, then pandemonium would break out and cars would start driving into each other and people would run, trying to get away.”

A couple of charred and stripped vehicles mark the entrance of rebel-held Aleppo, a fitting welcome to a city that in some parts is a barren urban landscape.

The helicopter attacks day and night, coupled with poundings by warplanes and artillery as well as regular clashes between government and rebel forces, have transformed the once-vibrant commercial hub into one with entire neighborhoods deserted.

More than two-thirds of the city’s population is estimated to have fled north either to Turkey or, for those not allowed passage into the country, along its border in ramshackle refugee tents. Certain suburbs have also seen a large exodus.

A makeshift gas station provides different varieties of fuel.  More photos

As one Aleppo resident said of the city, “There are fighters, activists and shop owners. No one else is left.

Some neighborhoods of Aleppo have only one or two families left.

At the roundabout in one such neighborhood, Muhammad Khair and his father sat in the grassy center and watched as their two dozen goats grazed. They heard rumors that a sniper was shooting people at the field where the goats customarily graze, so when the animals began bleating from hunger they came here.

Two months earlier in this district of dense, unregulated housing, the goats wouldn’t have been able to safely cross the road to get to the grass. Now, Khair said, in the span of 15 minutes, two cars had passed by.

At the scene of twin barrel bombings at a busy market, bodies, or what was left of them, were laid out along a sidewalk, covered with whatever was on hand: a green curtain, a plastic tarp and a banner for Dar al Shifa hospital, which had closed after repeated attacks.

A man, his shirt bloodied and neck bandaged, smoked a cigarette as those around him congratulated him on sustaining only a minor injury: “Thank God for your safety.”

“Don’t gather, don’t gather!” yelled one rebel with a Kalashnikov rifle, warning people that a crowd could invite another attack.

“A plane is coming, a plane is coming!” another rebel shouted while standing atop a traffic barrier, trying a more direct tactic to get the crowd to scatter. People ran away and then a few minutes later drifted back.

When local citizen journalists arrived and began filming, residents breathlessly screamed through a familiar script, praising God and cursing Assad.

Hours later, the broken glass and concrete had been swept and the blood washed away.

Children gathered around an ice cream stand, standing on tip-toes to peer at the available flavors, and men bought produce from a fruit vendor, the color of the oranges bright against the gray of fallen concrete.

Note: The Syrian army and its supporting militias of patriots have reconquered areas containing 16 million of citizens. All the main strategic roads for supplies and linking the main cities have been liberated.

The US trained “rebels” in Jordan are trying to re-enter Jordan, but they are stopped by the Jordanian forces because they don’t want to do with any of these extremist terrorists.

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-c1-syria-aleppo-mood-20140411-dto,0,3916136.htmlstory#ixzz2ygh6CeeQ

 


adonis49

adonis49

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