Syria. Monthly review (April 2019)

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Restoration of peaceful life, social institutions, the economy and infrastructure.


April 1. In the Armenian Christian Church «Forty Martyrs», located in the city of Aleppo, the first Mass took place after the official completion of the first stage of the reconstruction of the region, liberated from militants.

After the return of security and stability to Aleppo last year, the restoration of the city and the restoration of the church and the area around it began. Workers wanted to return her to the state in which it was before the war, while preserving her historical identity. Today the church exists for a new beginning. The church was restored with donations from believers of the Armenian community of Aleppo. In the temple, windows and doors were replaced, the facade was completely restored. Source.

For the first time since the beginning of the Syrian military crisis, competitions for children were held in the province of As-Swaida. More than 500 children took part in competitions aimed at identifying various types of talents. Source.

April 2. The energy security of the Syrian province of Tartus is going to be strengthened with the help of sunlight.

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Now in Syria, solar panels are being installed everywhere again — it’s cheap, environmentally friendly and logical, since the sun shines over the Arab Republic for most of the year. Giant solar panels 20 kilometers from Tartus were installed in just a couple of months. Among the endless greenhouses with vegetables and fruits, the new power plant looks futuristic. The generous Syrian sun comes to the aid of the country’s weakened power system during the war.

On an area of just three hectares, more than six thousand solar panels were mounted, a meter wide and two meters high. Each such panel produces only 300 watts of electricity, but all together, they generate already 2 megawatts. Solar panels were purchased in China, and the local engineers did all the rest of the equipment themselves, since Western equipment was not available due to sanctions. Source (video) / Source2.

April 3. Representatives of leading religious organizations of Russia will support the restoration of the secondary school in Damascus, which was damaged during the war.

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Members of the delegation from Russia, together with the Christian and Muslim clergy of Syria, inspected the area, destroyed school classes and determined the scope of work. Part of work had already begun some time before the arrival of the delegation as part of the implementation of the first tranche of funds raised for this project by the interreligious working group. This school will be the first object to start rebuilding with the support of Russian religious communities. Funds for financing are attracted by Russian Christian and Muslim communities and philanthropists, while the work itself is carried out by the Syrian builders. Source.

April 4. The Patriarch of Antioch and the entire East, John X, opened a solemn exhibition entitled “The Word Became a Body” in the Church of the Holy Cross in Damascus.

At the exhibition, which will last until the second day of next month, one can see many icons from various Syrian churches depicting the development of the Syrian Christian heritage in its ancient and modern schools, including Byzantine, Italian, Macedonian and Russian. The Patriarch also recalled that some important icons had been burned and destroyed by terrorists in the ancient city of Maalula. Specialists are now trying to restore some of these relics. Source.

The Ministry of Tourism of the Syrian Arab Republic celebrated the arrival of spring with «Akitu» holiday, in honor of which the «Bread Festival» was organized. The leadership of the event, which was held in the building of the temple of Khan Asad Pasha, was handled by the Damascus Tourism Board. The festival also included an exhibition of handicrafts, traditional crafts, artistic and musical scenes were staged according to the plots of the ancient Syrian legends.

Syrians are still celebrating this archaic holiday and are trying to revive it among other nations, holding large-scale social and cultural events and celebrations. Source.

April 5. Under Damascus, the oldest industrial zone in Syria is being reborn.

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Under Damascus, the production of trucks, sedans and crossovers is being revived. Investors invest money in enterprises of the oldest industrial zone of the republic — Tell Kurdi, which gradually goes to pre-war facilities.

A small conveyor is the revival of the Syrian automobile industry. Director of the company assures that the build quality is not inferior to the European or Japanese. While the volumes are small, 70 workers produce only 10 Chinese cars per day. A truck for only five thousand dollars. Source (video).

The third Syrian geological conference, organized by the General Organization of Geology and Mineral Resources in collaboration with the Syrian Geological Society, was held in Damascus. The main topic of the conference was “The role of geology in the reconstruction phase”. The event was attended by a group of researchers, specialists interested in such areas as geology, mineral resources, water supply, housing, construction.

The conference discussed about 52 working papers on the future prospects of oil and gas geology, strategies for using raw materials and modern technologies to search for mineral resources, investments and the use of raw materials for building materials, taking into account seismic, natural and environmental risks. Source.

April 6. The second annual food exhibition Syrian Food 2019 ended on Saturday in Damascus. The event took place from 3 to 6 April.

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The previous exhibition was the first and was designed to show the country’s ability to restore the food industry, despite the difficult economic situation. The organizers of the event noted that Syria, at the end of the exhibition, had established trade relations in the food sector with 110 states.

The exhibition Syrian Food 2019 was attended by over 80 companies — manufacturers of Syrian products: olive oil, Turkish Delight, canned tuna, various pickles and the famous cardamom coffee. Source.

An area of ​​10,000 m² was reserved for the exhibition, which is divided between the two showrooms and the taste of the major food exporting companies or companies wishing to export with the aim of opening new foreign markets or strengthening their presence in their traditional markets. Source.

April 7. In the industrial zone of Aleppo, the marble and granite processing shop has restored its work.

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Restoring a small business in Aleppo is now in full swing. The owner of the plant is thinking of expanding production and intends to find high-quality specialists for this. Granite and marble are expensive materials, so every action here is checked several times. In addition, marble tiles are produced in this workshop. Every day, the plant produces about 150 square meters of stone pavement, which is now a very popular material. Source (video).

April 8. Civilians restore the old market in the province of Homs.

The old Bab Houd street in Homs province, which was looted and destroyed during the occupation of the region by terrorists, began to gradually recover. Largely due to the efforts of local residents who are gradually returning to their homes. Shops located on this street, have already opened their doors to the first buyers. People sincerely thank the Syrian army, which has saved them from terrorism with the help of the Russian Aerospace Forces. Source.

April 9. Syrian authorities have restored the tourist route to the «Cave of Moses».

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The cave was built 13 years ago on the site of a sandy pit and it has nothing to do with the biblical prophet, but vacationers stand in long queues to visit it. The entrance is only 400 lire, and inside the cave, visitors can see underground rivers, waterfalls and skeletons of mythical animals. The first tourists after the restoration of this sight were the guests from Iraq. They admit that they did not expect such a warm reception in the post-war country. Source (video).

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The authorities of Ingushetia are planning to hold a monthly charity event «The Tent of Ramadan» in Syria during the holy fasting month for Muslims. The tent will be installed in the center of Damascus, it will operate throughout the holy month. Every person will be able to come and break the fast. Preparation for the humanitarian action has already begun. Source.

April 10. In the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra, dam restoration works are being completed.

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The dam is of strategic importance for the arid region. After liberation from terrorists, civilians return to the province and begin to engage in agriculture. And this means that they will need a lot of water. The militants completely destroyed the irrigation system. Now experts are strengthening the coastline and re-laying pipes to the fields of local residents. Also they actively restoring the supply of electricity in remote areas of the province. Source (video).

In addition, several electrician brigades in cities and towns in the region are installing pylons and pulling new transmission lines. In many cities in the province, roads, pavements, and even tiles are being repaired. Source.

April 13. The Syrian General Library Administration, in collaboration with the University of Damascus, opened an exhibition entitled “The Month of the Syrian Book” as part of a cultural festival on the occasion of the Day of the Syrian Book at the Faculty of Arts.

The festival will last until the 30th of this month. The exhibition includes more than 1360 titles published by the Syrian Book Association, covering various aspects of human knowledge, including artistic novels, poetry collections, literary criticism, intellectual, political, economic, legal, musical studies. The Ministry of Culture two and a half years ago published books for people with special needs.

The Directorate of Culture of Aleppo also opened the “Month of the Syrian Book” exhibition, which included about 600 different books on culture, literature, poetry, political books, books for children, etc. The event was held in the library of the Arab Cultural Center in Azizia. Source.

The St. Ephraim Syrian Orthodox Church has opened a new children’s center in the Jubail district of Deir-ez-Zor as part of a project aimed at bringing Syrian children out of the war atmosphere that has dominated the city for years into the atmosphere of life and joy.

The Center aims to attract children from the liberated regions of the Syrian Republic to a rehabilitation course, which will be conducted through the organization’s specialized sections. The Center is focused on children aged 3 to 16 years, for them various entertainment and intellectual activities on age are already planned. Source.

April 16. The authorities of the Syrian city of As-Swaida hold the last round of a talent contest held among all the children of the province.

Each participant shows his skills in the field of painting, sculpture, singing, journalism and oratory. In total, about 500 schoolchildren from all villages and cities of As-Swaida participate in the competition. Source.

April 17. In Syria, the authorities are restoring the once popular tourist city of Zabadani, which was one of the richest in the country before the war.

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Now there is a real construction boom in Zabadani. The Syrian government has set the task — in the shortest possible time to restore the destroyed houses, as well as the supply of electricity and water. Local residents are sure that in the near future tourists from all over the world will start coming to the city again. Source (video).

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Mobile clinics and mobile hospitals began to work in Aleppo. The appearance of a unique mobile medical complex in the eastern part of Aleppo was a real salvation for its residents. Local authorities acquired six mobile clinics right away so that the poorest residents of the destroyed areas of Aleppo could receive medical care. Each of them can take up to 150 people per day. To do this, there is everything you need: a place to examine the patient, various medical equipment, medicines and even a refrigeration unit.

Mobile clinics are open from morning until late evening. Anyone can undergo a rapid examination, pass the necessary tests, find out the diagnosis and immediately receive the medicines he needs. Source (video).

April 18. The branch of the Crimean-Syrian trading house in Damascus will open in the coming days.

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Speaking at the Yalta International Economic Forum, the general director of the Syria State Corporation for the Development of Export, said that the government guidelines have already been implemented and the procedures for registering an enterprise in Simferopol have been completed. The Government of Syria and the Government of the Republic of Crimea strive to make this project a center of economic development that would deepen relations between the two friendly countries. Source.

April 20. The international festival of Arabian horses takes place in Syrian Damascus.

An international equestrian festival called «Authenticity and Heritage» opened in Syria, during which various concert events dedicated to Syrian art and folklore were held. In addition, a film was shown about the role of the Arab horse in the history of modern Syria and its ancient civilization.

The festival, which will last until the end of the month, will include a grand march of Arabian horses with 250 riders. They will tour some of the most famous streets of Damascus right up to Umayyad Square. Also expected the show of Arabian horses, an international auction of Syrian horses and seven races. Source.

The Syrian Museum of Medicine and Science opened after a six-year pause. The opening of this museum was part of a government plan to rehabilitate various national museums that were closed due to the terrorist war against Syria. The museum consists of several rooms and an entrance, decorated with sculptures, which leads to a courtyard surrounded by ponds, planted with trees, flowers and medicinal plants used for treatment and healing. The museum building includes many artifacts in the field of medicine and pharmacy, belonging to many historical periods that are part of the historical heritage and civilization of Syria. Source.

April 21. A weightlifting club for children and teenagers has opened in the eastern district of Aleppo.

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The training hall has been restored and equipped at the expense of the city sports committee. The club was opened a month ago and is located in Hamdania. Children from ten to 15 years old are involved in it, some of them have suffered as a result of hostilities and are disabled. Training takes place on the system developed in Russia and Europe.

Six of the best students, who will lift the weight twice their own (these are the rules of world competitions), will take part in the international championship, which will be held in Peru in 2022. Also, children are preparing to perform at the championships of Syria and Asia. Now they are held every year. Source (video).

Normal life is gradually returning to the Syrian city of Deir-Khafir, located in the east of Aleppo. Most of the inhabitants of this settlement returned to their homes after local authorities provided them with access to basic services. In particular, to electricity, water, public transport. Most of the residents of the city reopened their stores after the restoration of part of the destroyed streets.

The local authorities also opened a Deir-Khafir postal service office, which provides various services to people returning to their villages and regions. There are also remittances in addition to the payment of pensions to residents of the cities of Deir-Hafir, Hafsa and Maskana. Source.

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“Blue Planet” one of the alternative energy companies, started implementing a photovoltaic power plant in the village of Hout, Swaida, at a cost of more than 650 million Syrian pound. The plant depends on the generation of electricity from the sun is implemented 1 megawatts per hour and provides electrical recharge to the wells of the regions of Salkhid and Qriya. This station also provides fuel and ensure that the electricity supply and frequencies of wells are in a systematic manner to avoid technical failures that may be obtained. Source.

April 24. The largest international exhibition held in the industrial sector of Aleppo.

The international exhibition of Aleppo with the participation of about 500 companies in various fields of industry, commerce and services began its second session. The area allotted for the exhibition was 4000 m². In addition to the public and private sectors, Arab and foreign countries took part in the exhibition, including China, Indonesia, Venezuela, South Africa, the Philippines, Serbia, Armenia, Palestine and Yemen. Source.

Syrian authorities have restored the ring road in the province of Homs. For a long time, it was restored in the framework of the joint efforts of civil society and representatives of the city council of Homs. The ring road is located in the city center west of old Homs. The event was attended by a large crowd of citizens, many of whom expressed hope for the return of life to all parts of the city. Source.

April 25. In Damascus, a youth film festival of short films began its work, the program of which included 70 films united by military themes.

The solemn opening ceremony of the festival was attended by not only Arabic, but also foreign artists. During the event, two contests were held: the first one was a feature film competition for young people, the second one was a professional short film competition. The festival of youth films and short films, which runs from April 23 to April 28, is one of the most important film festivals that the Syrian public awaits every year. Source.

Italian artists restored the ceiling of an ancient temple in Damascus. For a long time, Italian artists were engaged in restoring the ceiling of the temple of Bel in Palmyra, which was seriously injured by the hands of ISIS terrorists (banned in the Russian Federation), who occupied Palmyra for several years. After the ceiling sculpture of the northern mihrab in the temple of Bel in Palmyra toured several European cities, it was transferred to the National Museum of Damascus. Source.

In the Syrian province of Aleppo, many small sewing and embroidery workshops have been opened that help poor rural families acquire new clothes and provide employment opportunities for their members. Many of the villagers use these workshops to secure their daily lives in the light of the suffocating crisis that Syria has been facing for eight years.

The people of Aleppo have considerable experience in the field of the textile industry, as the city of Aleppo was once the capital of Syrian industry. Source.

April 26. The Church of the Virgin Mary destroyed by militants was restored in Homs.

The Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, belonging to the Greek Orthodox community, located in the Hamidia district of Homs, opened its doors to parishioners for the first time in many years. The church building was heavily destroyed by terrorist groups during the occupation of the Syrian province. The church was rehabilitated by the efforts of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Homs and local volunteers. The recovery process is still ongoing. Priests and parishioners arrived today at the church to listen to the Byzantine hymns, performed in chorus before the holy holiday of Easter. Source.

The Syrian Ministry of Internal Trade has completed regular repairs to Al-Kaswa and Al-Sabina farms in the Damascus region, thus preparing the region for the new harvest season. The Minister of Internal Trade spoke about the regular maintenance work that was carried out in the mills, and the efforts made by the workers to produce the best quality flour. In addition, he listened to the workers’ complaints about the moments they encountered during the work.

Regarding the law on the establishment of the Syrian corporation on grain, based in Hasaka, the minister explained that Al-Hasaka is the main reservoir of grain in Syria, and the process of combining silos, grain and mill institutions is part of an administrative reform project that provides savings and human resources availability and also contributes to the improvement of the product. Source.

April 27. The Kurds began to deliver oil from the Hasaka and Deir-ez-Zor provinces.

Due to a long economic siege and fuel crisis caused in Syria, Kurdish units that control most of the oil and gas fields in the eastern region of the country have entered into several agreements with the Syrian government to sell crude oil. As a result, it was decided to send hundreds of tankers from the Dzhubs and Rumeilan fields in Hasaka province, as well as from the Deir-ez-Zor oil field.

At the moment, crude oil tankers are on the road from Hasaka to Raqqa and Hama to the Banias refinery. Total arrives about 100 tanks per day. This move is expected to ease the fuel crisis in Damascus. Source.

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Eastern Aleppo now connected to the Internet. The fiber network in the «northern capital of Syria» was destroyed by the militants. Workers have already laid 1,5 kilometers of cables, there are still a little more than 3 [kilometers to laid]. Soon all residents will get ultra-speed access to the World Wide Web.

First of all, they will connect hospitals, schools and administrative buildings. But now, computer clubs for children are opening around Aleppo.

Internet cables are made in Syria, and copper for them is shipped from Iran and Egypt. The [cables] plant employs only 35 people, but by the standards of a post-war country it is a very solid company. It already not only provides the domestic market with all necessary cables, but also partially imports its products. Source (video).

April 28. The youth of the province of As-Swaida conducts the “I love Syria” campaign.

The children and youth of the Syrian province of As-Swaida with their own hands create the longest wall paintings in Syria. The length of the wall painting is 545 meters. About 7,500 boys and girls who arrived at the stadium of the Syrian province to participate in this event take part in its creation. The action was called «I love Syria». Source.

The Syrian «Ba’ath» Party is holding a workshop for teachers in Hasaka province. “The Art of Dialogue and Negotiating with a Child” is a scientific lecture and workshop that is currently taking place at the headquarters of the «Ba’ath» Party. As part of the workshop, experts talk about communication skills with the child, as well as allow participating teachers to develop their abilities and keep up with scientific developments in the promotion of modern scientific education.

Teachers and specialists working in the field of education are the basis and core of the development of the younger generation, and progress and rehabilitation periodically reflect the “positive” influence on the educational situation, said one of the speakers of the seminar. Source.

April 29. In the Syrian city of Douma, the supply of water to residential buildings and social facilities has been fully restored.

Also, according to local authorities, electricity is already available in 60 percent of the territory, and in the coming days all residents will be provided with energy. Shops and cafes are opening everywhere. According to local residents, now one of the main problem is the absence of a gas pipeline. To fill the cylinders with fuel, one have to stand in long lines. Every day dozens of people return to the city. Because of this, police stations work almost around the clock. Source.

The Syrian Ministry of Health continues to vaccinate children from different provinces. The Ministry continues the campaign “National Immunization Days” aimed at all children under five years of age. As part of the program, children are immunized as part of the national vaccination program (11 vaccines). Source.

April 30. In Damascus, they showed a copy of the ceiling of the Baal Temple destroyed by the militants.

The National Museum of Damascus received as a gift from the Italian sculptors a copy of a fragment of the temple of Baal from Palmyra. Previously, it was the main shrine of the famous city and represented a unique combination of oriental and antique architecture. However, in 2015, it was completely destroyed by the militants. Now a newly created fragment of the ceiling can be seen in the Damascus National Museum.

Its weight is about two hundred pounds. A fragment of the ceiling with a length of four meters and a width of one and a half meters was collected by bits by Italian artists. Documents from the excavations, drawings of archaeologists became the basis of the model for a 3D printer. A fragment of the ceiling is made of artificial material, somewhat similar to plastic. Then paint was used that creates the most authentic feeling. Source.

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