News / Middle East

Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid War

Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid War

x
Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid Wari
|| 0:00:00
X
Paige Kollock
August 19, 2012 7:06 PM
Residents in northern Syria are trying to carry on with their lives despite a conflict that has killed thousands of people nationwide since March, 2011. Helping them are rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who are organizing ad hoc local governments in areas under their control and offering services and supplies. Paige Kollock reports for VOA from Azaz in northern Syria.

Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid War

Paige Kollock
AZAZ, Northern Syria — Residents in northern Syria are trying to carry on with their lives despite a conflict that has killed thousands of people nationwide since March, 2011.  Helping them are rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who are organizing ad hoc local governments in areas under their control and offering services and supplies. 
 
At this makeshift gas station along the roadside in northern Syria, fuel sells for about $2 a liter. It is one of the precious resources the Free Syrian Army is helping to secure.
 
The FSA is organizing Local Coordination Committees to help residents get back on their feet.
 
Samir Haj Omar is a former school teacher and now head of the FSA political council in the town of Azaz. He says they still lack necessities like milk for babies, and medicine, but have been able to organize basic services. "The services [we are providing] are securing water, electricity, bread, street cleaning, et cetera," he said. 
 
The Syrian government calls the rebels "terrorists" and is vowing to eliminate them. But the rebels are not discouraged. In Azaz, despite an airstrike that killed at least 50 people last week, the main market was open for business the next day.

Hamdan Kanou was back to work, running his produce stand as he has done for 20 years. "Today we want to open our shops because people want to come and buy food and stuff to cook. Our life will keep going even if he's striking us by plane. We are not afraid of Bashar al-Assad," he said. 
 
Down the street, a baker opened his doors, selling cakes and cookies to customers, even though most of the neighboring shops remained shuttered. And some pharmacies were operating, offering medicine to the sick and those wounded from the attack.
 
Captain Ahmed Ghazali, head of security for the Free Syrian Army in Azaz, says local officers are working to establish trust. "The biggest challenge for us is making the people who trusted us satisfied with us, as well as dealing with the shortages that these people are facing because of the crisis we're living in," he said. 
 
But one attack can set back any gains the rebels have made. It took several years for this state hospital to be completed, but it was destroyed in a matter of days during a battle last month. Now residents have to travel across the border to Turkey for medical attention.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ariel Ky from: Kuala Lumpur
August 20, 2012 7:21 AM
I am very sorry that the hospital was destroyed. I wonder if Doctors Without Borders or some similar group could go in to give people medical attention.

Is there a way to peacefully resolve this situation? I wonder what Syrians want people in the international community to do who are watching with great concern what is happening to the people in Syria.

I am praying for all of you, and I am deeply sorry about the people who have died and how unstable your lives have become with the escalation of violence.

I don't think the use of violence ever resolves problems. It only creates new ones. We must find other ways to go forward.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid