Muhammad Najem

Our Hearts Never Left Eastern Ghouta

The day of the end of the siege, and the displacement from Eastern Ghouta will be a day that Syrians will never forget. The day we said our goodbyes to the land of olives and oranges .. where we went out to play with our friends in great and beautiful parks. The day we said our final goodbyes to Damascus, a city whose streets were lined with culture and science .. which gave birth to saints, reformers, scientists, and poets .. who contributed greatly to the world through their literature, philosophy, and art … is an unforgettable day.

 

After a five-year siege by Assad regime forces and Russia, thousands of people were displaced from their homes in Eastern Ghouta on the 14th of April to start their new lives in Idlib. This video shows the entirety of the exodus process: from the gathering and registration in Douma to the buses leaving Eastern Ghouta for Western Idlib. On 16 March 2018, the Syrian government forces launched their biggest offensive since the beginning of their assault on Eastern Ghouta. For four days, they bombed and shelled the densely populated enclave, severely damaging vital infrastructure and causing further displacement. With the agreement of a truce, the events of Friday morning, between 8 and 10 am witnessed an arrest in many areas and neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta. The echoes of gunfire and grenade explosions have stopped completely in these areas. Witnesses have begun to emerge from the shelters where they had entrenched themselves during the battles. A number of them mention an ambitious “geographic and demographic change” that occurred during this last volcanic eruption.

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