Message from Besieged Damascus Suburbs: The Situation is Dangerous

Translated by; Aishah Barazi

“Go Crazy with Your Siege” is all that can be done by the poor Syrians who live in liberated areas which have been under tight siege since months. The patient besieged by the lack of medicines and doctors; has two options either to live with his illness and accept the idea of his death or to risk his life and travel to Damascus city through many checkpoints which might lead to his detention on ID card basis. Most of the people prefer the idea of slow death in their tiny liberated areas than to be detained, humiliated and tortured. That is not bravery or heroism rather it is the choice of a well-known type of death than a mysterious one in the basements of security departments or at one of their checkpoints. The choice of an absolute and “safe” death not the one edged with fear as well as physical and psychological pain.

The daily life in liberated areas is more of a long sequel of looking for the most trivial services: water, electricity and bread are three main needs in life requiring lots of effort and money to get in minimum amounts. Consuming the people and exploiting their time and remaining savings, if there is any, is the direct result of siege. The other indirect goal is the people pressurizing the rebels to give concessions to the besieging regime for allowing basic food and medical supplies entering the area.

Moving from besieged areas is not an option for everyone due to security reasons which make it impossible for a family to pass all those checkpoints and risking their lives. Another issue is the financial aspect cause moving to another area requires money and most of the residents have lost their sources of income.

Having said that, there are few alternative options that can be thought of, actually, it is impossible for local civil activists to exert more efforts than what they are doing already. They are accomplishing the impossible with very limited tools and resources.

On the other hand, that does not eliminate the other alternative options cause they do exist, but they need scientific specialities and consistent funding to make them applicable in the besieged areas which will make some of the daily basic needs available for the people and the rebels.

To illustrate, up until now the issue of wastes needs urgent solutions before it turns into an environmental and health crisis. The intermittent outage of diesel threatening a lifeblood in those areas not to mention its high prices which make most of the residents unable to use it for generating electricity, pumping water or running their businesses. There were some experiences individually applied to solve the issue but they need experts to improve them like using the solar energy to generate electricity for the main stations or for simple households usage which will partially solve the diesel issue.

All specialities are welcomed to thoroughly study our daily problems which we suffer from in the besieged areas and urged to find creative solutions to ease the intensity of siege and its effects on the residents. This is a key factor for the resistance to continue and it takes a huge burden off the rebels as well as strengthens them in their surrounding societies that are being primarily targeted and affected by the siege.