Hardest part of it: stay or leave?

Hardest part of it: stay or leave?

PHOTOS: SUNDAY’S ZAMAN, İSA ŞİMŞEK

August 19, 2012, Sunday/ 10:47:00

The popular movement in Syria has been snowballing for 18 months. Resorting to violence, the Bashar al-Assad regime has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and homeland.

Forced relocation has become part of life. Women and children are forced to start on a journey for an unknown destination, while men are joining the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Doctors, professors, university students, taxi drivers, teachers, fathers, brothers are all soldiers now. In this struggle, which will have dire consequences, the death toll has already exceeded tens of thousands. The cities are silent and demolished. The district of Azaz, seven kilometers from the border with Turkey, is one of them. The school where children would attend classes in the good old days is now empty. The bullet marks on the signboard indicate the severity of the ongoing clashes. Assad’s destroyed tanks which would fire on the public are now whetting the appetite of scrap collectors. A woman insists that we come to her house and she shows us the fridge hit by a rocket and asks us for help. The inhabitants of Azaz have returned to their largely demolished houses. A family with two kids who have just returned from the camps in Turkey avoid giving their names. Fear rules the hearts.

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