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
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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid