Syria. Monthly review (December 2018)

September/October 2018 review is here, November 2018 review is here.

 

May you rise, beautiful ancient country.


 

December 1, 2018. In the province of Al-Quneitra people harvested the first crop of carrots.

One of the most popular vegetables in Syria was again on the market shelves of the provinces of Damascus and Al-Quneitra after the return of security to these regions. This happened for the first time in seven years of hostilities in the country. For the first time in many years, people who are gradually returning to normal life have been able to sow and harvest vegetables. Source.

December 2, 2018. The Department of Museums and Antiquities in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra continues to restore some important archaeological and historical monuments that were damaged during the hostilities in the republic.

Among the affected places is Khan Arnaba (Arnaba inn), which was shot at by terrorist groups. Militants also stole the main gate. In peacetime, this historically valuable place was used as a stopover for the rest of trade caravans, which were sent from Syria to Palestine, Egypt or the Mediterranean.

The total area of ​​Khan Arnaba is 2500 m², most of which is occupied by living rooms, vaults and stables. Khan Arnaba also has three arches that are important for archeology. The courtyard, still standing in its place, was built in the era of the Mamluks of black basalt stone. Inside this inn many finds from ceramics was discovered. Source.

The Russian medical team from the Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria assists residents of the village of Zafarana, located in the northern province of Homs. At the moment, Russian doctors are engaged in the health of 700 children, men and women. They work in five specialized centers designed to provide medical services to the local population. In the same centers food sets from the Russian side are being distributed to those in need. Source (photos).

December 4, 2018. Soldiers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria delivered 80 packages of humanitarian aid to the children’s boarding school in the city of Aleppo. In the packages that the Russian military handed out to children, there are sets of warm clothes, toys, school bags and stationery.

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In this orphanage there are 75 girls aged from three to 17 years. Parents of almost all of them died in the hostilities. According to the director of the boarding school, Juma Maki, in the beginning, in order to provide girls with food, the management of the orphanage worked in a small market. However, now financial problems are in the past.

According to the Russian Major General, the plans of the Russian military include providing New Year gifts to all orphanages and boarding schools of Aleppo. Source (video).

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Officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties conducted a humanitarian action in southwest Syria in the province of As-Sweida. It is reported that during this action, 500 sets of foodstuffs, which traditionally include rice, sugar, flour, and tea, were given to Syrian civilians. Source.

December 5, 2018. The first metallurgical plant opened in Aleppo, in the industrial zone of Jibrin. So far this is just a melting furnace under a dilapidated shed and about ten workers, but in the near future production will be restored.

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The terrorists destroyed the enterprise completely, the machines were destroyed, and the buildings of the shops were badly damaged by the bombing. After the war, the former workers of this plant, who returned to their homeland, decided to restore it on their own. They themselves built a blast furnace and repaired the conveyor.

Before the war, the company employed more than 200 people, it produced 700 tons of armature per day, fully providing the Syrian market.

Start of production is scheduled for the end of the year, and next year they plan to reach the pre-war facilities here. The main problem is the interruption of electricity and the lack of spare parts for machine tools. Source (video) / Source2.

The General Electricity Authority in the province of Al-Quneitra is completing the rehabilitation of electrical towers in the cities of Brega and Bir-Ajam, which have been affected by terrorist groups. It is expected that within three days both settlements will be fully supplied with electricity. Source.

December 6, 2018. In Syrian Aleppo, the first school completely destroyed by terrorists was fully restored.

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The militants used this building as a command post, and in the basement they equipped a maternity hospital for their wives. Almost all the internal walls were demolished by radicals to make it easier to move inside the rooms, and during the retreat hundreds of deadly traps were left there. The repair went on for several months, and the children themselves helped to finish it faster. They were allowed to decorate the school walls with their drawings. By the New Year, builders are planning to commission several more schools so that after the winter holidays, in other areas, the children will return to their desks. Source (video).

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The officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria conducted a humanitarian action in the province of Lattakia. In the course of this action, the Russian military distributed 500 sets of food to Syrian civilians. Food sets traditionally consist of rice, sugar, flour, and tea. Source.

There is a restoration of the Deir-ez-Zor area destroyed by militants. Under the decree of the Syrian government, technical workshops of various sectors began cleaning sewer systems and water flow systems near bridges that were destroyed during the occupation of terrorist organizations. At the moment, technical workshops have been able to complete system restoration work in the areas of al-Tarif, al-Bvetiyah, al-Shmetiyah and Maadan. In addition, they were able to complete work in a number of villages located in the western suburbs of Deir-ez-Zor. Technical staff has been mobilized for this work. Source.

December 7, 2018. In Syrian Aleppo, a pumping station was launched that supplies the entire city with fresh water.

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On a strategic object, almost completely destroyed by the militants, they installed the latest equipment. Though, the water from the Euphrates is still purified in the old way, using chlorine. The modern cleaning system, which was at the station before the war, was destroyed by terrorists. It is impossible to restore it, and Western sanctions do not allow buying new ones. During the fighting in the eastern areas of Aleppo, the water supply system was almost completely destroyed. The laying of new pipes goes at an accelerated pace, and does not stop day or night, in order to return the former way of life to the citizens as soon as possible.

In the remote areas of eastern Aleppo, water still has to be delivered by cars. In order for the residents not to depend on the delivery schedule, in almost every yard the authorities drilled artesian wells. Source (video).

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Over the past day, the servicemen of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties distributed humanitarian aid in the province of Hama. During the campaign, 500 sets of food were distributed to those in need. In addition, it is reported that the authorities of the Arab Republic continue to work on the amnesty of persons who evade from the duties of military service, including among refugees and militants. As of December 6, 2018, 15 402 people were granted amnesty. Source.

At present, under the leadership of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, the infrastructure of the western part of Aleppo is being restored. In particular, Fadua Tukan school is being rebuilt in the most modern quarter of the city number ‘1070’, which in 2012 was supposed to take thousands of families from the eastern part of Aleppo and the surrounding area, but instead for several years was the scene of fierce fighting between jihadist groups and the Syrian Arab army.

The school is a four-story building with a small sports field, it is surrounded by a high stone fence. In the near future, up to 1,390 students will be able to study there; it is planned to recruit at least 26 teachers to work in one shift at the institution. School rebuilding continues daily from 8 am to 4 pm. A working team of 30 people is engaged in a repair. It is planned that in the next school year the school will be able to take students. Source.

December 8, 2018. Syria has developed and is implementing a special state program for the revival of mass sports and the training of athletes to participate in the Olympic Games.

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Syrian athletes took part in all international competitions, every two years children’s competitions are held. Despite all the difficulties, the national football championship did not stop in the seven years of war in the country.

Participants in the junior swimming team are preparing for competitions in Damascus. There’s a great hope for this team. The swimming team is preparing to compete at the Youth Olympic Games-2022 in Senegalese Dakar. Young athletes are trained in the pool, built in 1973 by Soviet specialists. The lessons here did not stop even for a day, even at the height of the war. Children had to swim in icy water without lighting. Sometimes it was necessary to train even under the shelling of militants. Source (video).

December 9, 2018. The plant for the production of juices and carbonated drinks under the «Sinalco» brand began work in the Syrian Adra near Damascus, the country’s largest industrial zone.

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Construction of the plant began about two years ago. A month ago, the work was completed, at the moment they have begun to manufacture products. Investments in the creation of production amounted to about two million US dollars. Now the plant employs 120 people. They serve two lines — for bottling beverages in aluminum cans and plastic containers.

The industrial zone of Adra under Damascus is experiencing its second birth. In addition to the former factories that have re-launched their production, new factories are being built in Adra. This is not the first lemonade plant in the Arab Republic, but there are high hopes for the most modern equipment. Manual labor is completely excluded, modern conveyors are fully automated, all control is concentrated in one room. Drinks meet international standards, and their cost is much lower than that of their neighbors. Syrian businessmen have plans for deliveries to Russia, now manufacturers are working on logistics. Source (video).

The ministerial committee, which oversees the project to restore Aleppo, traveled through the Old City, looking into the Citadel and the neighborhood of the provincial capital, which had been liberated from terrorism. Local maintenance crews reported that thousands of tons of garbage and debris were taken out of the city. Work is now under way to rebuild the main streets around the Old Town in order to gradually pave the way to the local market. In the near future, it is expected that several projects will be launched to restore markets in old Aleppo, which should have a positive effect on the economic and social development of the city. Source.

In the course of the project to restore the city of Abu-Kemal, the local authorities completely cleaned it of debris left after the hostilities. At the moment, all the streets of Abu-Kemal fully functioning. In addition, several major municipal facilities have been restored in the city. In the spring, a local bakery and pumping station resumed work in Abu-Kemal, which were seriously damaged during the terrorist attacks. However, work to restore the buildings of the city is still ongoing. At the moment, in the area of Abu-Kemal, the equipment of the border checkpoints continues, after which the road from Iraq to Syria will be opened again. Source.

December 10, 2018. Syria’s largest pharmaceutical plant, Dimas Pharmaceutical Industries, plans to begin exporting medicines to the Russian Federation, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Mauritania and Yemen.

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The company is restoring production and is preparing to enter the international market. In total for the year they plan to build three new buildings and completely replace the obsolete equipment. The pharmaceutical factory near Damascus, which did not stop working even for a day, even in the midst of hostilities, is again at full capacity. Now the pharmaceutical plant consists of several small buildings, each with its own production. Here they make ointments, tablets, ampoules, in total 62 names of drugs. The equipment, released in the middle of the last century, worked well all the war years. Source (video).

Charitable organization «Sanibel» together with the Syrian Society for Social Development held an educational event at the library of the Abdula Aziz Rantisi School in Hasaka province. Thus, volunteers hope to revive in Syrian children the need and desire to read books in Arabic. This initiative was the first of a kind in the province of Hasaka, but volunteers are confident that it will not be the last. It is expected that similar actions will soon be held in other libraries in the region, despite active attempts by the Kurdish leadership to force the inhabitants of the occupied part of Hasaka to read in their language. Source.

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An exhibition of small and medium-sized enterprises was opened in the province of Homs to activate the economic movement and stimulate the return of Syrian refugees. The event was organized by the Office for the Development of Small and Medium Business in Syria, in collaboration with representatives of the Industrial Chamber of Homs. In total, the exhibition was attended by over 60 projects, including handmade and handicrafts, as well as agricultural and food products brought by residents of various Syrian provinces.

This is not the first event organized in post-war Syria. Every day more and more exhibitions, concerts, fairs, promotions and even marathons take place in the liberated provinces. This primarily means that people are gradually returning to a peaceful and stable life. In the presence of the Syrian government army, they feel safe. Source (more photos).

December 11, 2018. Rehabilitation centers for war victims are scheduled to open in all regions of Syria.

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It is planned to help return to normal life primarily for those who need the support and care most of all — children. Many of the Syrian children for months spent in captivity by terrorists, survived torture and humiliation. Among them are immigrants including from the CIS countries. Radicals, taking advantage of the fact that, for one reason or another, the children were left without care, prepared from them suicide bombers or threw them on the front line. It is very difficult to work with such children, some of them have never been to school, and they even consider strangers as enemies.

The Syrian government has developed a special program for the rehabilitation of children liberated from the territory under the control of the militants. There are also plans to create a rehabilitation center, mainly for teenagers from the age of 12 — it’s the most difficult to rehabilitate them. For now teachers deal with such children in regular schools. The main task facing today is to gradually return the children to a normal life. For this purpose, qualified psychologists constantly work with them, they are trying to occupy children with something, but the main thing is plain human communication. Source (video).

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Over the past day, Russian troops conducted a humanitarian action in the Hirghilla village in the province of Damascus, during which 500 food packages were distributed to those in need.

In addition, as part of the implementation of the decree of the President of the SAR of October 9, the Syrian authorities continued to work on an amnesty for those who evaded military duties, including among refugees and former members of illegal armed groups. By December 10, 16,352 people were granted amnesty. Source.

December 12, 2018. Russian military held a humanitarian action in the village of Cadmiya in the province of Aleppo. During the humanitarian action, 500 food sets were distributed to those in need.

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Since the beginning of the settlement process, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties held 2014 humanitarian actions. The total weight of humanitarian aid was 3162.1 tons. Source.

December 13, 2018. Residents of the Syrian province of Aleppo held an exhibition of exhibits collected from various combat materials.

The event organizers wanted to show that they are able to use absolutely any objects for creativity, even murder tools. Residents of the province of Aleppo collected the remains of rockets that hit the local monasteries and churches. Subsequently, the processed weapons were turned into real works of art, which most accurately reflects the realities of military Syria. The main task of the action is to call upon all the inhabitants of the Syrian Arab Republic to peace.

Most of the exhibits are made of remnants of rockets and shells left after terrorist groups have left. The idea of holding an exhibition came to mind of one of the local residents, a woman, who wanted to keep two rockets as a souvenir in order to put ears of wheat on them. She then decided to use empty rockets as a flower vase and a candlestick, which were exhibited in the local church during the prayer to the Virgin Mary. Source.

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Russian musicians, awarded with international prizes, held a master class for students of the musical institute in Syrian Lattakia. Musician Denis Chefanov said that when preparing children, the influence of the Russian performing school is felt. After the completion of the master class, a concert was held on the stage of the Assad House of Culture. It was heard by more than 850 people: representatives of the Russian-speaking diaspora, officers of the Syrian army, deputy governor of the province of Lattakia, as well as the deputy minister of culture. Source.

December 14, 2018. The textile industry is gradually restoring its work in the Syrian province of Aleppo. More than 500 factories located in the city of Sheikh Nadjar have already begun their work.

Despite the numerous difficulties associated primarily with the destroyed infrastructure, production gradually recovered in the region. At the moment, local manufacturers are looking for opportunities to export goods to foreign markets. This is a difficult task, as many Western countries have banned exports from the Syrian Arab Republic. As a rule, now all the goods go to other provinces of the republic, those that were recently liberated from illegal armed groups. The cost of goods is minimal, because people who have long lived under the oppression of terrorists have almost no money left.

The textile industry will help the province emerge from a protracted economic crisis and will provide significant support to the national economy. Now in Syria continues industrial boom. One after another, new factories and plants are being opened in the republic, agricultural land brings a new crop, the first after the outbreak of hostilities. Across the country, the active restoration of infrastructure destroyed by terrorist groups continues. Source.

In the settlements of the province of Al-Quneitra they continue to get rid of garbage and debris left after the withdrawal of terrorist groups. In Samadania and Hamadania villages located in the northwestern part of Al-Quneitra, local authorities are doing everything to bring the region back to life as soon as possible. Source.

Russian musicians performed on the stage of the opera house in the «Dar Al-Assad» cultural center in Damascus. The evening, organized by the Ministry of Culture, was held as part of the festival called “Music for Peace”.

December 15, 2018. Syria has launched a large-scale project on the use of solar energy. To ensure energy independence, the most important social facilities, such as hospitals and schools, were decided to be equipped with solar panels.

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For local engineers, this has become a real challenge. If the solar panels could be purchased in China, then the rest of the equipment due to Western sanctions had to be developed by them themselves. The field of solar panels is spread over two hectares. Fifty huge panels can save about 220 thousand dollars a year.

Before the war, there were 15 power plants in Syria, some of them were destroyed, the rest were seriously damaged during the fighting. Therefore, to ensure energy independence, the most important social facilities, such as hospitals and schools, were decided to be equipped with solar panels. Source (video).

December 17, 2018. The central commercial market has opened in the Syrian city of Hasaka. The event was attended by officials, as well as public and cultural figures.

Currently, there are 115 stores on the territory of the new commercial market, which were built in collaboration with the Hasaka city council and a private investor. The new market fully meets the needs of Syrian citizens: merchants offer various crafts, food. The opening of the new market was one of the stages of the reconstruction program launched by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Source.

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The Syrian district ‘1070’ on the border with the rebellious province of Idlib again began to recover. The de-escalation zone, where militants are still located, is less than a kilometer away, but construction is in full swing. This neighborhood received its name by the number of apartments, it began to be built six years ago, but not a single house was settled — the war began.

In a short time after the end of hostilities, builders erected about a hundred new houses, in parallel with this, work is under way to restore the buildings damaged during the war years. According to the engineers, they will complete the project in four years. Source (video).

The first volunteer tree planting took place in the Syrian cities of Brega and Bir Ajam (province of Al-Quneitra). Both cities were seriously affected by the actions of illegal armed groups; they were liberated by the Syrian government army several months ago. During the occupation, militants deliberately destroyed the green forests of Brega and Bir Ajam, by uprooting trees from the ground. As a result, the local flora suffered significant damage. Not so long ago, «Syria Ariba Team», a group of young people living in the province of Al-Quneitra, launched a charity campaign aimed at restoring forests in the region. Source.

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Syria has opened a joint (Crimean-Syrian) trading house in the Crimea. Now the stage of registration of trading house as a resident of the free economic zone of the Russian peninsula is in progress, and the issue of the system of mutual settlements is being resolved. It is assumed that the payments will be in rubles. Source.

December 18, 2018. The Russian military held three charity events in the Syrian provinces of Homs, Aleppo and Daraa.

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In their course, the Russian military handed out to Syrian civilians, in addition to a ton of bread, another 482 kilograms of Tula gingerbread, 22 sets of sports uniforms, as well as five soccer balls from the «Spartak» Moscow football club. Source.

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The authorities of the Crimea are going to create a joint shipping company with representatives of Syria in the coming month (in December 2018 — January 2019). It can be organized on the basis of LLC «Sea Directorate», the operator of the Kerch ferry.

The creation of a joint shipping company is provided for by general agreements, said Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic, Permanent Representative of Crimea under the President of the Russian Federation Georgy Muradov. Source.

December 19, 2018. In the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra, a project was launched to treat wastewater in the settlements of Mansura and West Kaswa.

The goal of the project is to attract as many civilians as possible to the liberated province, freeing them from problems with getting of drinking water. The total cost of a project to remove pollution from the Al-Aawaj River in the liberated area of Al-Kaswa is 475 million Syrian pounds. Source.

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In Syrian Aleppo, the rehabilitation of schools and hospitals continues. During the restoration work in Syrian Aleppo, builders removed more than three million m³ of garbage. This is more than the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. Workers clearing debris and repair. The builders demolish those buildings that can not be saved, and prepare the site for new ones. Schools and hospitals are reinstated first of all. Source (video).

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Russia has signed an agreement on donor contributions, under which it will donate $ 3 million to improve food security in Syria. The agreement was signed by Daniel Gustafson, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Viktor Vasilyev, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Rome. Vasilyev stressed that he hopes for a similar initiative from other international organizations.

This contribution will allow 360 thousand farmers to recover, who suffered as a result of the conflict in Aleppo. According to the UN, about 6.5 million people in Syria face problems in providing themselves with food. Source.

December 20, 2018. A graduation ceremony was held at the University of Al-Furat in Al-Hasaka for students who were able to continue their studies after the province was liberated from the terrorist groups of the «Islamic State» (organization banned in Russia).

In addition to graduates and their families, the event was attended by officials, deans of faculties, the rector, as well as national representatives. Relatives of graduates said that it was a real honor for them to attend such a ceremony. After all, a few years ago, no one could even assume that their children would be able to study again.

Many spoke at the event with solemn speeches. The teachers highly appreciated the efforts made by the students, stressing that this graduation should be an incentive for them to further develop and study. Source.

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The first civilians began to return to the former stronghold of militants near Damascus, the town of Yarmuk. It was seriously injured by numerous shelling: there are no schools, no hospitals, no electricity supply. Nevertheless, local residents return and rebuild their homes. Flowers on them — a distinctive feature of Yarmuk. Survivors of fierce battles rejoice at the simplest things and try their best to create a festive atmosphere for their children.

The principal decision on the restoration of this area has already been taken. As soon as funding is received, the builders will start working, but for now the local authorities, with what they can, are trying to help the residents. Source (video).

It will take from three to five years to restore this suburb of Damascus. But, despite the devastation around, residents are preparing for the New Year. Streets are decorated with flowers and garlands, and shells from projectiles are used as vases. Source.

December 21, 2018. In the settlements of Bir Ajam, Brega and Zayvan (Syrian province of Al-Quneitra), the project to restore the operation of water pumping stations was officially completed.

The cost of repairing water networks, 80% of which were destroyed by terrorist groups, amounted to 230 million Syrian lira. The head of the province, together with the manager of the water resources of Al-Quneitra, also completed the restoration of 46 wells and 26 reservoirs in the liberated area. They also restored 40 kilometers of the water network, which was almost destroyed by the militants. Source.

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The Moscow football club «Spartak» for the third time this week gave to Syria 22 sets of football uniforms and five footballs. The Russian military presented gifts to residents of the Sayda settlement in the province of Al-Quneitra. Also, a humanitarian action was carried out in the village of Kum-el-Visiya in the same province, during which the military distributed 500 food sets to those in need. Source.

December 22, 2018. The number of students in the Daraa province of Syria doubled after the region was completely liberated from illegal armed groups.

After liberation, colleges began to open in Daraa, and students resumed their studies. The Syrian authorities also began restoring a branch of the University of Damascus in the town of Muzerib, located in the vicinity of Daraa. During the occupation, terrorists severely damaged the school building.

The militants who had been keeping Daraa province for many years did not just destroy the buildings of schools, colleges and universities, they plundered furniture, interior furnishings of educational institutions. After the restoration of security, the students of Daraa province were able to continue their studies. Only at the pedagogical faculty there are now 6,000 students. Source.

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The officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria over the past day held a charity event in a village in the province of Damascus. In its course, the military distributed 260 blankets, 260 towels and 260 pairs of shoes in a school in the village of Maalula. The officers of the Reconciliation Center also distributed gifts from the «Spartak» Moscow football club: the players transferred 22 more sets of football uniforms and five footballs to Syria.

Also, the SAR authorities continue to work on amnesty of draft dodgers from serving in the Syrian army, including among refugees and former members of illegal armed groups. As of December 21 of this year, 19,068 people were amnestied. Source.

In the Syrian city of Al-Hasaka, the first exams of this year, dedicated to the completion of the first semester, started. At the moment, about 100 thousand students attend Al-Hasaka schools, but more than 10 thousand people were deprived of the opportunity to get an education due to the closure of schools by Kurdish units occupying Hasaka province.

At the moment, the number of schools forcibly closed by the Kurds, more than three thousand. In addition, many parents did not want to take their children to schools, where the state curriculum was abandoned. At the moment, more than 66 thousand students were able to pass exams. Source.

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Volunteers of the Christian Society of Queen Zenobia held a Christmas holiday for disabled children in the temple of the Prophet Elijah in Damascus. It was no coincidence that the ancient Queen of Palmyra Zenobia was chosen as the foundation’s symbol: it is believed that she was also involved in charity work, and this inspires volunteers.

While the volunteers entertained their wards, an unusual guest appeared in the church — the representative of the Russian Reconciliation Center. He came with gifts — Tula gingerbread. Source (video).

December 23, 2018. A charity event for children was held in Damascus, where children were offered to draw Christmas trees so that they would remember the magic spirit that comes every New Year.

Many children of Syria psychologically suffer the consequences of the war. Such events are aimed at helping them gradually return to their normal lives and forget about the difficult years.

At the moment, in the Syrian capital, there are many programs aimed at psychological support for children, among them «art therapy», the exhibition «Children’s drawings and war». All of them help specialists to understand what is happening in the inner world of a child who has survived the difficult years of military conflict in SAR. Source.

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On the eve of Christmas in the Syrian province of Damascus, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties held a humanitarian action in the sports school of the football club «Quneitra». The school did not stop working even during the war, and part of the training base was destroyed during the fighting.

The Russian military brought as a gift 25 footballs and a sports uniform with the symbols of the Moscow «Spartak» club. Young football players were delighted with the gifts, and representatives of the Center for Reconciliation wished the boys to play in the future as well as the Moscow club. Syrian football is now experiencing a rebirth. Source (video).

Residents of the Syrian cities of Nubl and Az-Zakhra (Aleppo province) witnessed the active recovery of the region, the infrastructure of which was destroyed by the militants. The authorities of the Syrian province of Aleppo are actively working to restore electricity in two cities, as well as repairing school buildings, despite a serious shortage of working personnel.

The cost of new projects for the rehabilitation of the region was about two million US dollars. Most of the funds were distributed between the repair of educational institutions and water supply networks; a part of the funds was received by a team engaged in restoring the road between the two settlements of Aleppo province. Source.

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the village of Marrat, Deir-ez-Zor province, during which 500 food packages were distributed to people. In addition, targeted charitable assistance was provided in the city of Aleppo, during which 15 food packages were given to the needy families of the dead soldiers of the armed forces of the SAR.

Refugees are returning to their former places of residence. With the assistance of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, the work of ten checkpoints was ensured, including one air checkpoint «Duvaly» and one sea checkpoint «Banias». As of December 22, 2018, 209257 people have returned. Source.

December 24, 2018. Activists of the «Yunarmiya» movement sent Christmas gifts to the children of the Syrian city of Skalbiya. In total, they collected more than 600 sets, which include the necessary items for the school — schoolbags, albums, paints and pencils.

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In addition, in each set they put a special gift — a drawing. The gifts were delivered to the Arab Republic by a special board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation; on this occasion, the school even canceled the lessons.

The city of Skalbiya is located at the very border of the Idlib de-escalation zone, now about four thousand refugees live in it, almost half of them are children. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties carried out one humanitarian action in the village of Isra in the Daraa province, during which 500 food packages with a total weight of 2.2 tons were distributed to the needy.

Assistance is ongoing to rebuild infrastructure and create conditions for the return of refugees. As of December 23, 2018, 30908 residential buildings, 713 educational and 121 medical institutions have been restored, 948 kilometers of roads repaired. Source.

December 25, 2018. A large religious festival was held in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra, which was attended by a number of religious leaders.

A sanctification of the Christmas tree took place in a church that was once destroyed by the Israeli occupation. It happened back in 1974. The residents of the liberated province of Al-Quneitra have gathered to remember the brightest holidays of the year: Christmas and New Year. The event was attended by Patriarch Hasim and a number of other Christian leaders. In addition, representatives of other Syrian denominations were seen in the church, who came to share the joy of the holiday with their fellow citizens. Source.

Residents of the settlement of Quseir (Damascus province), located right on the Syrian-Lebanese border, organized a Christmas holiday right in the courtyard of the Church of the Prophet Elijah, which was restored after the terrorist attacks.

In a special statement, Father Issam Kasuha said that residents of the city of Quseir thanked the Syrian army and Russians in the city for their help in restoring most of the regions of the republic after the SAA victory over illegal armed groups. Source.

December 26, 2018. The Syrian army opened an infantry college in the northern suburb of Aleppo after the province was liberated from terrorist organizations.

In addition, the Syrian Ministry of the Interior is also busy rebuilding Aleppo’s central prison, located north of the city. For a long time, it was under siege of militants, but the Syrian army was able to lift this siege. Source.

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An old mosque is being restored in Syria — a UNESCO monument. Restorers have several years of work to fully restore the mosque. The mosque of the Umayyad dynasty is experiencing difficult times. During the fighting, it was almost destroyed. But today the UNESCO monument is being restored with the help of Russian specialists and charitable foundations.

A detailed reconstruction plan was drawn up. The most important task facing historians and builders is to do everything exactly as it was. Archives, previous studies conducted by various archaeologists, and a large number of photographs taken before the war helped in restoring the mosque. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held three charity events in the settlements of Abu-Ed-Duhur in the province of Idlib, Skalbiya in the province of Hama and in the refugee camp of Hirjilla in the province of Damascus, during which one ton of fresh bread and 20 kg of confectionery sets were distributed, 300 kg of medicines, 30 kg of children’s vitamins, as well as books and stationery with a total weight of 45 kg. Source.

December 27, 2018. About 900 apartments were restored in eastern Aleppo as part of the government program.

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The deputy director of the construction company, Majd Al-Yusfi, said that out of 56 buildings in the Al-Zarad district, on Savanu Shabashi Street, 30 buildings were restored (it’s about 900 apartments). He added that the first house will be commissioned in 2 months. Source.

Apartments in the area will also be received by residents of the nearby neighborhoods, whose houses are now practically unsuitable for living — many do not have electricity and water, so they have to heat the rooms with the help of stoves. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the Genderiya refugee center in the province of Lattakia, during which 250 food packages were distributed. In addition, one charity event was held for refugees in Adra village, Damascus province, during which 160 kg of confectionary sets, 310 kg of children’s vitamins, as well as books and stationery with a total weight of 375 kg were distributed. Source.

December 28, 2018. Russian and Syrian schoolchildren communicated via video link and congratulated each other on the upcoming New Year.

The Russian Ministry of Defense organized the first children’s teleconference in the history of the two countries, which connected cultures across thousands of kilometers. For an hour schoolchildren talked about their studies, recreation and traditions. Source.

The Russians asked a variety of questions. Among them: how many exams do Syrian schoolchildren pass in a year, is there snow in the Republic, what is the main dish of the new year and does Santa Claus come to Syria? From Damascus, in turn, they asked what the frost is, what Russian schoolchildren play in, and what are their favorite subjects in school. Children literally bombarded each other with questions. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the Sheikh-Miskin village of the province of Daraa, during which 500 food packages with a total weight of 2.2 tons were distributed to those in need. Source.

December 29, 2018. Syrian children received more than 1.5 tons of New Year and Christmas gifts from Russia. Actions took place in three Syrian provinces at once: Hama, Damascus and Aleppo.

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Airplanes with toys, sweets and school supplies arrived at Khmeimim airbase, from where the Russian military delivered them to all parts of Syria. The first distribution of gifts took place in Damascus and its suburbs. Most of the humanitarian aid was financed by the Moscow and Kaluga regions and a number of public organizations from these regions, including the All-Russian organization “Combat Brotherhood”. Source (video) / Source2 (video).

Restoration of the Syrian provinces continues. Thus, special vehicles arrived in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra in order to clear the garbage and debris that remained after the departure of the terrorist formations.

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In the Syrian Arab Republic, work continues on the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the provision of comprehensive assistance to Syrian citizens in restoring peaceful life. Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the city of Homs, during which 150 food packages with a total weight of 650 kg were distributed to those in need. In addition, one charity event was held in a refugee camp in the village of Rsas in the province of As-Sweida, during which 60 kg of children’s vitamins, 30 kg of confectionery sets, as well as books and stationery with a total weight of 80 kg were distributed. Source.

In the Syrian province of Homs, under the leadership of the local Ministry of Justice and the relevant authorities, a court has been opened as part of the province’s rehabilitation program. According to the provincial prosecutor general Khalid Izz al-Din, the Ministry of Justice is implementing a plan to reopen the courts located in the liberated areas of Homs. Source.

In Aleppo, after many years of stagnation caused by the long-term occupation of the militants, a restored textile factory in the Alarkub area began work. As soon as the factory owner managed to resume production, the products began to be sold within Syria. Today, the Aleppo shawl factory exports its products even to neighboring countries. For example, in Jordan. This was made possible by the opening of a corridor between the two countries. Now the textile factory in Aleppo also supplies scarves to France. All products have special markings «Made in Syria». Now all materials are in great demand. In the near future it is planned to expand production. Source.

December 30, 2018Russian musicians took part in the “Music for Peace” charity project and performed at the Damascus Conservatory, and then talked to Syrian students.

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A year ago, the musicians also performed in the Syrian Arab Republic. This year at the concert sounded the most different music, which covered the period from the XIX century and to our days. Musicians performed works by composers from France, Poland, Japan and, of course, Russia. Source (video).

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) re-opened its representative office in the Syrian capital Damascus. The official statement of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that this step indicates the interest of the government in restoring the relations between the two countries. In the future, they will be able to strengthen and intensify the role of the Arab states in support of the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Representatives of the UAE Foreign Ministry expressed confidence that security and stability would soon return to Syria. Source.

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held a humanitarian action in the city of Mazlum, Deir-ez-Zor province, during which 500 food packages were distributed with a total weight of 2.2 tons. Source.

The Ministry of Local Government of Syria imported 50 buses in the framework of the government program for the support and development of the vehicle fleet.

On the occasion of the New Year in the Syrian city of Seidel (Homs province) was a holiday of love and joy.

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