Life has a different taste in the besiegement!
The word "Siege" might not mean the same for any individual as it means for someone who experienced it.
In Eastern Ghouta, life has become so daunting and unbearable as the siege was getting tighter. Back in late 2012, the whole area has become liberated by Opposition Fighters and it officially became out of the government’s control.
The Syrian government forces imposed a severe siege on the area as a kind of punishment and in order to get back the control, by starving and bombing the people there. Primarily, the regime began restricting the movement of the civilians, confiscating food and arbitrarily depriving civilians of electricity and water.
The siege of Eastern Ghouta has passed by many stages and levels, it was loosening and tightening and continued for more than 5 years until the Syrian regime invaded the area after a brutal military campaign supported by a heavy shelling by the Russian forces earlier in 2018.
The most difficult period of siege started in late 2013, when the Syrian regime, and its allies, imposed a complete siege on Eastern Ghouta. In August 2013, the regime launched a massive chemical attack on the area. More than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed.
Alongside this brutal campaign, and as the first experiment with such a tight siege, people did not plan things out. So, they were not prepared well to deal with that situation. They have not farmed their lands and did not store a big amount of food as well. Everything accelerated suddenly. Instantly, they found themselves face to face with that harsh condition and realized that there were no food items in the whole area. So, they started looking for alternatives that could help them to keep going.
Unfortunately, there were no enough surrogates. People started using Animals’ fodder to make bread instead of wheat, even it was a luxury to get the animals’ fodder, only wealthy people were able to get it and of course for a high price and afterhours of waiting on the line.
They used Saccharine instead of Sugar, one of the main sources of Sugar was a traditional sun-dried apricot paste, known as (Kamruddin). It was an extremely tragic situation, as a further consequence of this was, children and elderlies began to die because of starvation.
On the other hand, away from foodstuff, and due to the long period of siege, people started devising some alternatives to cope with this deteriorating situation.
They started cutting trees to use wood as a surrogate of fuel to make fire for cooking and heating. Because of the huge dependence on the firewood, they started producing stoves that made specially to work on the wood instead of fuel. They started producing fuel and gas from plastic waste materials, but it's so expensive and not as good as the original one.
People depended on local internet providers who, in turn, depended on satellite internet. Sometimes people manage to receive signal from the cell towers in regime-controlled areas nearby Ghouta, and use the cellular network for internet.
People of Ghouta have devised a lot of daily life's alternatives in order to resist the horrors of war and survive in such a bitter situation, hoping for a better future.
Syrians work at a factory producing wood-burning stoves,
known locally as a "sobia", in the city of Douma.
A man puts the internet Modem at a high altitude in order to try to get some signal from nearby regime areas.