Syria. Monthly review (May 2019)

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


May 1. The famous Syrian university was revived in Aleppo.

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Almost all departments of the university — there are more than 20 — opened their doors. The university has experienced an unprecedented influx of students, including not only Syrian youth, but also hundreds of foreigners. The University of Aleppo trains specialists in many fields, from historians to builders and dentists. Students from Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan go to Syria for education. Source (video).

May 2. International exhibition of higher education opened in Damascus.

The event involves dozens of universities and educational institutions, including Syrian, Arab and foreign. The exhibition is attended by 16 Russian universities. The exhibition will hold a series of seminars and lectures with strategic objectives that contribute to the construction of Syria of the future, in addition to two specialized exhibitions, one of which is dedicated to mobile technologies and applications, and the other linked to the labor market, and how to access it. Source.

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Two important archaeological artifacts were returned to the National Museum in Damascus. The ceremony of presenting two old doors to the Syrian expatriate in Italy, Radwan Havatmi, took place at the National Museum in Damascus. Havatmi was able to buy them from smugglers in Italy in the 1960s during an auction, and then decided to transfer them to the Syrian state with the approval of the Italian government.

Syrian expatriate Radwan Havatmi expressed his happiness that he was able to return to the Syrian capital two archaeological sites of significant historical value. The two archaeological sites brought to Syria are basalt stone doors that were smuggled into Italy and belong to the Byzantine period. Source.

May 3. In Syria, in the province of Aleppo, it was possible to restore the production of refrigerators under the brand «Polar Bears».

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The city workshops once provided the entire country with equipment, but with the start of the war, the volumes sharply decreased, and then the factory was completely closed. Now the company produces about 20 refrigerators per day and recruiting new employees. Ex-refugees who are returning home are also receiving work there. Source (video).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Embassy of the Russian Federation organized a workshop aimed at launching a project to support Syrian war-affected families. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The project aims to support 60,000 war-affected farmers living in the Syrian province of Aleppo. This assistance is needed to restore their productive capacity and increase their food and nutritional security. The various activities carried out under the project will strengthen the local economy and contribute to reducing local poverty and improving the nutritional status of the target group.

Opportunities for the production of fruits and vegetables in the most affected households will be expanded. In addition, the work of the veterinary, diagnostic and surveillance services to combat animal diseases and infectious diseases will be improved. The restoration of agricultural irrigation infrastructure in Aleppo is also expected. Source.

May 4. «Made in Syria»: an exhibition of national products held in Damascus

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The 86th Industrial Fair is held in Damascus, where all goods are presented — from clothes to household appliances. This is a real oriental bazaar: long shopping arcades, full stalls. Sellers represent a variety of products, but they are all made in Syria. Source (video).

May 6. The judicial authorities reopened the Magistrate’s Court in the town of Shazhara, in the vicinity of the Syrian province of Daraa, after an eight-year hiatus due to the control of terrorists over the area.

The final opening of the court was possible after the Syrian army units restored security and stability in the city of Shazhara in early August 2018. The newly opened court will be engaged in a different type of cases, it will carry out civil and criminal justice. Source.

Ancient mosque being restored in the old city of Aleppo. Several people from Aleppo became participants in a charity event to clean the streets of dirt and remove garbage from the archaeological mosque of Adliya, located in the old city. This mosque was destroyed during the control of terrorist organizations in the region.

Garbage collection was the first step in the process of restoring the mosque. This mosque is characterized by an outstanding architectural style, it was built in the middle of the sixteenth century, the mosque is famous for its wide dome, which adjoins the other eight domes and a small minaret measuring about forty meters. Source.

As part of the celebration of the holy month of Ramadan, a charity event for women was held in the Syrian province of As-Swaida. The main purpose of the celebration is to help the families of the dead and injured Syrian soldiers. Source.

Local residents and charitable civil organizations, in collaboration with the Office for Victims in Shakhba city (As-Swaida province), are campaigning to beautify the territories subjected to destructive actions by illegal armed groups. Source.

May 7. In Syrian Aleppo, a single flour mill was fully restored.

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The plant is located in the Sheikh-Nadzhar industrial zone, which was occupied by militants. The plant provides flour to the entire province. During the fighting the plant was occupied by terrorists. The expensive equipment was looted and taken out. It took almost three years to recover. Every day, the company receives from the state 300 tons of grain, and the flour is sent to hundreds of small bakeries. Source1 (video) / Source2.

May 8. The Akhmat Kadyrov Regional Public Fund (RPF) plans to provide humanitarian aid to 500 families of the deceased employees of the Syrian government forces on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

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The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that humanitarian aid would be sent daily to all schools in East Ghouta. During the whole month, 16 thousand students will receive food packages. RPF will also assist 500 families of deceased employees of Syrian government forces. Source1 / Source2 (video).

May 10. The workshops of the power company in the Syrian province of Homs continue to work to restore the electrical network of the ancient city of Palmyra and villages in its vicinity.

These power grids were destroyed as a result of the numerous terrorist acts that the militants committed almost daily during their occupation of the region. The Department of Energy is working on the restoration of the main power station in Palmyra, which is strategically important for the delivery of electricity to the city of As-Sukhne, located in the depths of the desert. Source.

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In Homs, the solemn opening of the monument to the victims of terrorism took place. On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the liberation of old Homs, after long years of terrorism, a monument was opened to the dead SAA soldiers and residents of the city. The sculpture appeared next to the old clock at the entrance to the Al-Hamidiyah area, official bodies and ordinary people attended the solemn event. Source.

May 15. In Syria, they launched suburban trains from Lattakia to Tartus.

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Only new locomotives and wagons go along the route. Travel time, when compared with road transport, has almost halved. And, as noted by local residents, the fare is cheaper by train. The rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure in Syria is currently proceeding at maximum speeds. Before the war, suburban trains traveled throughout the country, but more than 80% of the roads were destroyed by militants. In many directions, movement has already been resumed. Including from Damascus to the Mediterranean Sea in Latakia, this is more than 300 kilometers. Source (video).

May 17. Syrian Christians received a copy of the icon of the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus as a gift from Russian restorers.

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Written back in the 13th century, the original was destroyed by militants: occupying the famous ancient city of Maalyulya, the terrorists looted and desecrated all Christian relics, and the church of the saints was not completely destroyed. The loss of the icons was the hardest loss for believers, but masters from Russia helped. A copy of the relics was made at the Holy Trinity Church of Kursk from a small photo. Paints for the icon were prepared according to a special old method in order to get as close as possible to the original. The work of restorers took several months. Source (video).

May 19. Representatives of the Russian Republic of Ingushetia gave the Syrian people a «Ramadan Tent», where food is distributed on holidays.

The tent is decorated with the inscription «With love from Ingushetia!». The tent was open to the public from the first day of the month of Ramadan (that is, from May 5; Ramadan will continue until June 3). Six thousand meals, which will be distributed at 200 per day, prepared for the visitors to the tent. Before the start of breakfast in the tent, a short film is shown, in which the residents of Syria are told about the features of social and cultural life in Ingushetia. Source.

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In Syria, the first women’s futsal tournament was held after the end of the war. In the final of the competition, youth teams from As-Swaida and Hama met. A victory with a score of 3: 0 was eventually celebrated by the club from As-Swaida. Source (video).

May 20. The Russian military restored the pontoon ferry across the Euphrates River.

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The bridge will enable communication within the province of Deir-ez-Zor, which will significantly shorten the delivery time of various goods, food and medicine. The bridge design provides for the movement of trucks with building materials for the restoration of infrastructure and social facilities on the left bank of the Euphrates River. Source (video).

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Damascus Chamber of Industry and Rural Development opened its 87th edition of the “Made in Syria” shopping festival, which includes more than 178 national companies offering food products, clothing and detergents.

During the opening, the President of Damascus Chamber of Industry and Rural Development Dr. Samer Al-Debs stressed solidarity with the citizen through products of good quality and low prices. The festival will offer discounts of up to 50% and other offers. Source.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad opened the International Islamic Center for Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism in Damascus. The training of Muslim theologians will be conducted at the Institute in accordance with the generally accepted moderate Islamic doctrine in Syria. The center also includes a section on combating the extremist mentality, center of scientific Research, a library and a number of auditoriums. The project took two and a half years, and now the religious complex in Damascus is ready to receive listeners from all regions of Syria. Source1 / Source2.

May 21. Russian scientists during the first expedition to Syria for many years are planning to explore the ancient ports flooded by the sea near the city of Tartus.

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Russian archaeologists will examine the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near the shores of Syria and study the features of ancient navigation, including on the routes leading to the Crimea. The trip is planned in the second half of 2019 with the support of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and will be the first such expedition in the modern history of Russia. Source.

May 22. The Syrian authorities have allocated 50 million Syrian pounds (almost 100 thousand dollars) for the restoration of the town square in the city of Maalyula, located in the province of Damascus.

The decision on the allocation of funds was made during a meeting of Governor Ali Munir Ibrahim with members of the city council, during which decisions and procedures for preparing investment projects for the restoration of the city of Maalyula before the tourist season were discussed.

It is planned to replace the area covered by basalt, the same as on the old streets of Damascus, on an area of over 3,500 m², as well as install wooden doors, as in the famous Hamidia market. Source.

May 23. In Aleppo, for the first time after a ten-year break, the famous city fair opened.

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The shopping arcades, which were the calling card of almost the entire Middle East, had to close because of the war. But now, when peaceful life has returned to Syria, the market square is once again filled with people from different countries and cities. In honor of the holiday, the city authorities arranged fireworks and even turned on the fountains. Another novelty at this fair — many sellers began to duplicate the names of their products and price tags on the Russian language. Local manufacturers dream of supplying their products to Russia. Source (video).

Syrian authorities restore gas production in Damascus. The Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources announced that well No. 4 in the province of Damascus reached the level of gas production of 120 thousand m³ per day, thus giving out 100 barrels of gas condensate. The well was returned to production activities after a significant amount of exploration and ground works. To date, the well depth is 3,412 meters. Source.

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The Indian Embassy in Damascus said in a statement that India and Syria are determined to work together in the reconstruction process, adding that India has started this through the expansion of the Tishreen thermal station, and will update the Syrian-Indian Center for Excellence in Information Technology. Including energy, especially solar energy, and are working closely in the areas of education and capacity building. Source.

May 25. In Aleppo, the production of sports shoes was restored.

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Subsidies for the opening of the company was allocated by the Syrian government. Today it is a small family business, but in the near future, the owners promise to repair the whole enterprise and start mass production. The price of each model is about 8 dollars. And the quality, as promised by the owner of the production, is excellent. Source (video).

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The Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection has approved the launch of a new Syrian oil company called TURKA O.P.L.L.C. The company is owned by Mrs. Maysa Ahmed Rifai, a one-person limited corporate responsibility, which has a capital / 10 / million Syrian pounds, and will be based in Damascus, the capital, with the possibility of establishing branches in the provinces, and outside Syria. The new company can enter into tenders and auctions, and in the import and export issues in the oil sector – as stated in its statute – in addition to other sectors. Source.

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The Czech Foreign Ministry announced that it will organize on 27/5/2019 a seminar on the reconstruction and development process in Syria and the possibility of participation of Czech companies. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that participants in the seminar, which will be held under the supervision of Czech Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Tlapa will discuss the possibility of joining the Czech companies and institutions through the contribution to reconstruction and development, and support and encourage the participation of the private sector and the Czech non-government. Source.

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The Director-General of the Syrian-Jordanian Free Zone, Khalid Al-Rahaleh, revealed a plan to restart the region and open it to investors again. He said that the infrastructure will be rehabilitated in the area. Before the launch, the safety and security of the place will be confirmed to facilitate the return of old investors and attract new investors.

The opening of the region will contribute to the development of the local community, create thousands job opportunities, operate the transport sector, stimulate the private sector, increase treasury revenues and customs revenues. The free zone was established in 1975 under agreements between the two countries and reached its peak in 2010, but stopped working in 2015 with the militants controlling the border crossing between Jordan and Syria. Source.

May 27. A Russian-Syrian bank will open in Crimea.

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The head of the Syrian «Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Czech Republic and Central Asia» Jerry Nestaval announced plans to open a commercial bank and maritime lines between the Crimea and Syria. Nestaval said that at present, work is underway to establish a bank in Crimea that can work with Syrian businessmen, accept money transfers from Syria and transfer them to Russian banks, adding that the maritime line connecting the ports of Crimea, Lattakia and Tartus will open to facilitate shipping between the two countries. Entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of these opportunities to increase trade between Syria and the Czech Republic through the Crimea. Source.

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In the industrial area of Syrian Aleppo, after a four-year break, the plant for the manufacture of aluminum structures resumed its work. Such products are widely demanded in the post-war country. The company produces, in particular, window profiles, necessary for the restoration and construction of residential buildings. The scale of production of a full cycle can only be assessed from a height. The plant area is four thousand m². Modern equipment, many machines. More than a hundred people work here.

The company buys raw materials in Russia. According to the director of the plant, due to the high quality of aluminum, the productivity is high — four tons of products per day. Source (video).

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Emirates Airline Executive Vice President Adil Ahmed Al Redha has revealed the company’s intention to resume flights to Syria as soon as possible after assessing the safety of the Syrian airspace.

Al-Redha pointed out that the company is waiting for the decision of the General Authority of Civil Aviation to restart flights to Damascus, pointing to the importance of the Syrian market in this regard. Al-Redha confirmed the continuation of the Commission and the relevant authorities in assessing the safety of the Syrian airspace in order to allow the national carriers to resume work and use it to cross the flights to different countries. Source.

May 28. The Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the Governorate of Damascus, will hold the 40th International Flowers Exhibition from June 26 to July 10, 2019 at Tishreen Park in Damascus under the patronage of Emad Khamis, Prime Minister.

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The exhibition will be attended by 15 foreign and governmental entities from several countries including Venezuela, Abkhazia, Philippines, Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Sudan. The festival includes various artistic, cultural and entertainment events. The festival includes special days, including a day for silk and products of rural women, a day for honey products, medicinal and aromatic products, a day for culture and children’s entertainment and a day for planting some plants and seedlings in the garden. Source.

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Sakba-Benin Primary School has been reinstated in the hostile-affected East Ghouta (a suburb of Damascus), all classes at the school are scheduled. Today, Sakba-Benin school is one of the few educational institutions for children, therefore, classes are held in it in two shifts. Some classes now study for 45 people. It is expected that by the autumn new schools will open in East Ghouta, then the load on teachers will significantly decrease. Source1 / Source2 (video).

May 30. The authorities of the Syrian city of Aleppo restore the largest local food market, destroyed by militants.

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Several years ago, during the hostilities, a prison for prisoners, a headquarters and a weapons storage facility were organized on its territory. The prisoners were kept in small rooms, which the militants used as prison cells. Now this place is again actively trading. Locals sell their own products. New objects are being built on the site of the destroyed buildings. The city authorities promised that within three months, the largest wholesale market in Aleppo should appear here. Source (video).

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