Syria. Monthly review (August 2019)

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


August 1. A children’s clothing factory was restored in Syrian Aleppo.

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Now the company employs about 400 people. First of all, refugees returning to their homes, as well as former soldiers, get jobs. Fashion design is developed by the own studio, and director of the company approves it. In just one shift lasting up to 10 hours, the factory produces about 10 thousand items of children’s clothing. Most of the products go to the domestic market, but there are customers in Iran. In the short term, it is planned to begin deliveries to Lebanon and Jordan. Source.

August 5. Competitions in sports drift took place in Syrian Sednai.

The Syrian Automobile Club has returned to work as part of a collaboration with the Syrian Ministry of Tourism. After a three-year hiatus, the auto club held the first sports drift competition in Syria’s history.

The holding of racing competitions, which, despite the war, demonstrated the image of a real new Syria, indicates the need to continue peaceful life, business, hobbies and everyday affairs, and also creates a new creative and innovative image of Damascus and its history. In the capital of Syria, many events are constantly held that may be of interest to tourists. The Syrian Ministry of Tourism organizes various interesting events in collaboration with various clubs, associations and youth movements. Source.

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A large metal smelter resumed work in the industrial area of Aleppo, Sheikh Nadjar. Before the war, the plant produced drilling rigs for oil and water-bearing wells and was known far beyond Syria. After the outbreak of hostilities, production had to be stopped; the enterprise was destroyed.

Now the plant produces from 75 to 100 tons of metal per month. Products are used in the construction industry, in the manufacture of metal structures. All workers are former refugees who returned home after the end of the war. The main problem in production is the lack of raw materials. Source.

August 6. The Syrian Ministry of Communications continues to rebuild telecommunication centers in the city of Aleppo in order to provide all citizens with telephone and Internet services.

Communications will be available in the center of Khan al-Wazir in Old Aleppo and Sana-Muhaidli in the Kazi-Askar region, which were severely affected by terrorist attacks. Infrastructure rebuilding, construction and rehabilitation expenses will amount to 623 million Syrian pounds. Source.

As part of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the Syrian facilities damaged during the war, the construction of a railway line connecting the Katina station, located south of Homs, and gravel pits in the area of the village of Hissiya was completed. The length of the line is 18 kilometers.

The goal of the project is to connect the transport network of Hissiya quarries with some Syrian provinces. This is necessary primarily to simplify the transport of high-quality materials to the regions. Source.

August 7. The residential area in Syrian Aleppo was almost completely restored based on the products of a limestone quarry processing plant located in the industrial area of the city.

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The Al-Abdan plant is engaged in crushing limestone and sorting the resulting material for the subsequent manufacture of concrete, asphalt, paving slabs and building blocks. The company employs about 50 people, its products were used to repair the local airport and the road connecting Aleppo with Damascus. Source.

August 9. A summer children’s camp began in Syria.

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It was opened with the support of the Russian military. Hundreds of children came to rest, who had to find out what war is. Many of them are children of the dead Syrian soldiers and officers. The Russian military provided the camp with food and everything necessary. Source (video).

August 10. A rubber hose factory was launched in Aleppo.

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Before the war, the enterprise worked at full strength, but stopped with the arrival of militants. The equipment was looted and the building destroyed. In order to fix everything, some of the machines had to be repaired on their own, and the other, due to sanctions, was purchased from Iran. The factory staff is still small — only 15 people. These are mainly refugees who really need work. Source (video).

Special events aimed at supporting families of Syrian soldiers affected and killed in battles are being held in Damascus. One of these charitable projects was called “Made with Love”. Its founder, Mohammed Al-Saidi, himself suffered during the hostilities in the country. Now he helps people like him — wounded soldiers in the war who are in search of work, and their families. According to Saidi, initially the project focused on cooking, but over time, they also began to stock up food for those in need.

The project “Made with love” exports its products to 11 European countries, its representatives participated in the Baalbek festival, as well as in the Chinese festival “Shanka Hai”. As part of the new company, products will be shipped to Italy and Belgium in several batches. All this is necessary in order to prove that Syrian products can overcome difficulties and can be exported to countries that have imposed a blockade on Syria. Source.

Thousands of residents of the Syrian province of Deir-ez-Zor congratulated the Syrian army on the 74th anniversary of a massive festive event held in the center of the administrative capital.

Speakers at the event expressed their pride in the people of Syria, especially the residents of Deir-ez-Zor, who had been occupied by terrorists of the Islamic State (the organization is banned in the Russian Federation) for several years, they also recalled the victims of the Syrian army and the commitment of the entire people of the province to the unity of the country.

A similar ceremony took place in the Syrian city of Abu Kemal, located on the Syrian-Iraqi border, local authorities and representatives of the clans were invited to the holiday. Thousands of residents of the Syrian city and surrounding villages participated in this event, all of them expressed their support for the army in continuing to fulfill the tasks of eliminating terrorism in all Syrian territories. Source.

August 12. In Damascus, the largest aluminum smelter was restored.

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The largest production of aluminum profiles in the vicinity of Damascus is again gaining momentum. Now the plant operates at 75% of the pre-war capacity. The industrial giant, like many other enterprises in the country, was forced to stand idle due to the outbreak of war.

Currently, the company employs about 300 people. The management claims that there is enough work at the plant and the staff is constantly growing. Now the enterprise should reach pre-war capacities: it will be ready to provide the entire country with an aluminum profile. Source (video).

August 13. In Aleppo, large-scale restoration work has begun.

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In eastern Aleppo, work is in full swing. Infrastructure restoration work does not stop even under the scorching sun. The Bustan al-Basha district is already 70% populated. The main communications are connected, there is electricity in the area, it is now turned off only for three hours a day, so that electricians can connect several more houses. Now builders are focusing on roads.The construction work involves mainly refugees returning to the country. Most of them have no problem finding a job. Source (video) / Source2.

August 14. In the province of Al-Quneitra, a holiday was organized for the children of Syrian soldiers who died during the fighting.

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In Kurban Bayram, the local community decided to gather all the schoolchildren who lost their parents in the war. The event was held at the local Palace of Culture, professional psychologists from the «Heart of Syria» charity foundation took part in it.

Many children still do not talk, some do not make contact with their peers, and therefore such holidays are a good way to establish communication and bring them into conversation. After the holiday, each child was presented with gifts: toys and sweets. Source (video).

One of the volunteer groups at the Fada Social Development Society launched an initiative called «Dahab Atik», which aims to honor the dead Syrian citizens by writing their names and sayings on the walls of Tartus. Thus, they will remain alive in the memory of people and the whole nation. The project included Syrian citizens who have made a major contribution to the visual arts and literature of Syria. Among them are artists, writers, poets who had a great influence on society.

This is not the first time that walls are painted in the province of Tartus, but for the first time such an initiative is informative and has a specific purpose. Source.

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The Mosfilm plans to organize a screening of [Russian] domestic films in Syria in the fall after receiving a corresponding offer from the Syrian distributor, said the Mosfilm director general Karen Shakhnazarov. He added that the representative of the Syrian side himself took up the selection of films that he would like to present at a show in Syria.

Earlier, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation planned to hold a cinema week of showing national films in Syria, but the department decided to cancel the collection of applications due to a similar event by Mosfilm. Source.

August 17. In Damascus, the Prodex Industrial Exhibition was held.

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The largest manufacturers from a dozen countries brought their most advanced equipment to Syria. The exhibition is held in Damascus for the second time, it was first opened after the end of hostilities in 2018.

The exhibition was attended by companies from China, Lebanon. Despite the Western sanctions, even companies from Germany and Japan did not miss their chance on profitable contracts. Source (video).

August 23. The city festival, during which everyone could taste traditional Syrian food, visit an open-air cinema and a folk craft village, was held in Tishrin Park in Damascus.

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Last year, the festival was held for the first time, but on a smaller scale. Now here one can visit the zoo, buy clothes and household items. In addition, a large amount of entertainment was prepared for visitors.

The organizers do not have a goal to make a profit, therefore, in shops there are minimum prices, and if they see people in the park who cannot even pay a small money for food, they are treated for free.

A special pride of the festival is an inclusive platform where parents and guardians can bring people with diseases that impede socialization, including taking them for an internship in a local cafe. Source.

August 24. In Syrian Aleppo, a factory for the production of ice cream and sweets resumed work.

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The start of production in Aleppo started back in the 90s. In 2010, the factory decided to increase production, but after the militants invaded the city, production had to be suspended for a long time.

Now refugees are working in the production of sweets, and even children, who are doing their utmost to help parents provide for their families.

Ice cream of this production is already available at all retail outlets in the city. It is also reported that manufacturers expanded the range: in addition to ice cream, oriental sweets and delicacies from sweet sour cream appeared. Source.

August 26. Thousands of applicants gathered in Syrian Aleppo. There is an educational exhibition «Unix». All universities of the country are represented on one site.

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For the first time, a Russian university is participating in the exhibition. A representative of the Belgorod Technological University said that the institution has developed a special training and education program for Syrian students. For three days, the exhibition has already been visited by more than 15 thousand people. Source (video).

The Syrian Public Road Company has begun rebuilding and maintaining the main road network in cities that have recently been completely liberated. All of them are located in the northern part of Hama, namely in Murek, Al-Latamin and Kafr-Zeta. Work is ongoing, in particular, on the international road connecting Damascus and Aleppo, as it also passes through this area. Source.

August 27. Syria’s railways are recovering from the war.

Launched two years ago, the train passes along a short route: in the morning from Djibrin to Allepo and back, in the afternoon — the same way in a different order. Now this is the only railway service operating in Syria constantly. Most of the cars are mostly empty on weekdays, but on weekends there are more people — the inhabitants of Djibrin go to Aleppo for a walk.

The price of 50 lire is for ordinary residents, and for the privileged categories, which include people of honorable age, students and the military, it is even lower — 25. The Syrian government specifically keeps a low price threshold for travel so that any Syrian can afford rail transport.

All train repairs are currently taking place at the railway depot in Aleppo. Of the 200 workers who worked before the war, only 20 people now work in the shops. To fully restore the entire railway network, more than 1 billion euros is needed. However, the country’s authorities are not giving up, and they are going to return the Syrian railways to its former glory. Source (photos).

The authorities of the Syrian province of Idleb began the process of restoring infrastructure in the city of Khan-Sheikhun liberated a few days ago. The city has been controlled by extremists since 2014 and was severely destroyed.

On Monday, the Russian military delivered humanitarian aid to the city. The city administration is doing everything possible to return residents to a peaceful life as soon as possible.

According to the governor of the province of Idlib, Muhammad Fadi Sadun, the road to one of the city schools has been restored over the past three days, it is undergoing repairs so that children can go to school on September 1. According to the governor, the provincial authorities set a goal for the residents of Khan-Sheikhun who left the city during the war to return to their homes: for this, it is necessary, first of all, to restore power supply and water supply. Source.

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Syrian authorities have prepared a plan to restore the province of Quneitra and the administrative center, the city of the same name, destroyed by Israeli forces more than 40 years ago, allocating more than $ 2 million for projects. Most of the province is made up of the Golan Heights, the west of which is occupied by Israel.

Syrian authorities plan to launch a home renovation project in Quneitra province during 2019 to return refugees there. Syrian authorities have allotted 50 billion Syrian lire to rebuild the destroyed regions. 275 million lire of the allocated amount will be spent on various projects in the Quneitra province in the last quarter of this year. The Cabinet of Ministers of Syria allocated a billion Syrian lire (about 2.3 million dollars) to restore infrastructure in the province and the construction of residential complexes since 2020. Projects for the development of cattle and fish farms are also reported. It is also expected to create a new faculty of the University of Damascus in Quneitra. Source.

August 28. Despite the US threats, an international exhibition will open in Damascus.

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The international exhibition opens in Damascus for the 61st time on Wednesday with the wide participation of delegations from around the world, including those who for the first time in 8 years of conflict in the country decided to come to it, despite the threats of the US embassy closed in Syria to apply sanctions to event participants.

The event over the years of its existence has gained the status of the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The exhibition was resumed in 2017, then it caused a stir among those who wanted to get there and serious traffic jams. This year the exhibition will be held from August 28 to September 6, the participation of delegations from at least 38 countries is confirmed. Source.

August 29. The Russian Ministry of Defense showed Western journalists how Syria’s reconstruction is going.

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The largest city and industrial center of Syria, Aleppo, was shown to Western journalists. Early in the morning, a plane landed in the country with reporters from Italy, Greece and Bulgaria. Immediately after landing, they went to local production.

Journalists admitted that the pace of recovery and development of Syria has hit them. Textile and metallurgical plants are opening all over the country, new residential areas are being built and historic buildings are being restored.

According to media workers who arrived in Syria, thanks to similar press tours organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the myth of the so-called Syrian opposition, which previously existed in the West, is gradually dispelling. Source (video).

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The Republic of Crimea and the Ministry of Transport of Syria on Thursday signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of maritime transport. The agreement aims to develop maritime traffic between the ports of Crimea and Syria.

A meeting of delegations led by Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Muradov and SAR Minister of Transport Ali Hamoud took place on Thursday as part of the visit of the Crimean delegation to the 61st international exhibition in Damascus. Source.

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Crimean companies participating in the 61st international exhibition are ready to assist Syria in rebuilding the oil and gas complex, mining and phosphate processing. The delegation of Crimea held meetings in the ministries of industry, energy, and negotiations are also planned in the ministry of oil of the SAR. Chairman of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce of the Crimea Vladimir Klimenko noted that this is still the «organizational» stage of negotiations. In addition, he noted that the company intends to transfer to the SAR «advanced equipment and technology».

The Crimean delegation expressed its readiness to assist in the restoration of the Syrian oil and gas complex through the supply of equipment, chemicals for oil and gas production, as well as to assist in the design and supply of equipment for floating drilling rigs while developing offshore mining equipment. In addition, the company is ready to offer Syria stationary and mobile power plants, as well as solutions for the delivery of oil and fuels and lubricants: tank cars, motor vehicles. Source.

August 31. Doctors at Syria’s largest hospital «Al-Mu’athat» in Damascus will undergo lung transplant surgery. Colleagues from Russia will help them in this difficult matter.

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Operations will begin to be done after the appearance of the new building until the end of 2019. They plan to equip seven operating rooms and 170 stationary beds.

Construction began in 2009, but because of the war it had to be postponed until better times. The project was estimated at 7 billion Syrian pounds ($ 16 million), the medical equipment is of the same cost. It was brought from neighboring Lebanon, as well as from Russia, Iran and China.

The authorities updated the emergency and resuscitation departments, supplied the hospital with new equipment in the burn department. In the future, doctors want to develop a surgical department and stem cell departments. Source.

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