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'Ghouta Dry': Handmade Cola Under Siege
Misraba, Eastern Ghouta
By Jawad Arbini
24 May 2015

May 2015,
Misraba, Eastern Ghouta

Residents of the rebel-held town of Misraba in Eastern Ghouta, have created a factory to make soft drinks with little resources and very simple means.
The workers of the factory use alimentary acids and preservatives, which they find in pharmacies, and using a drill they mix the powder with water. Once the melange is ready, they fill it in second hand glass bottles.
It's been two years since Eastern Ghouta has been under a tight military siege imposed by the Assad regime forces and allies.


00:00 – 00:090
Hand-written sign in Arabic reads: “Local cola. Freedom tastes sweeter.”
03:38 – 03:41
Hand-written sign in Arabic reads: “Local cola. Freedom tastes sweeter.”
03:42 – 03:47
Hand-written sign in Arabic reads:
“Creativity grows as the siege becomes stricter. Ghouta Dry is the beverage of the siege. Cheers, young men of Ghouta.” SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Saeed al-Khawly, Factory Manager
04:41 – 05:18
“In the name of God, the merciful the compassionate; Given the suffocating siege and the very hot weather, we thought of creating any project that could alleviate [the impact of] the siege on people in Ghouta. We thought about it and found that the best thing to do would be to start a cola factory – something to cool people in this very hot weather.
Thanks be to God, we managed to start a cola factory in Ghouta with the simplest means.”
05:19 – 05:48
Q: Do the substances you are using have any effect on consumers’ health?
A: No, thanks be to God. We are using preservatives and some acids that are available in pharmacies; they are alimentary acids, not chemical ones. They [the acids] are used in food substances. The added preservatives make the beverage consumable for six months.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Abdu, Street Vendor
05:49 – 06:08
“Customers say it is very good and it is delivered to me. I am selling about 300 to 400 bottles a day. We offer them cold to customers. They are enjoying the beverage and quenching their thirst. It is hot in Ghouta and we are under siege. This is very good.”

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Ghouta Under Siege
Eastern Ghouta, Syria
By mchreyteh
09 Apr 2014

في الغوطة الشرقية المحاصرة القصف لا يهدأ. يلجأ الناس الى استخدام علف المواشي وحبوب الذرة المتعفنة لصناعة الخبز. حاجة السكان للكهرباء جعلتهم يبحثون عن سبل بدائية لتوليد الطاقة عبر صناعات يدوية. وبعد توقف معظم المستشفيات عن العمل، تحل النساء مكان الطواقم الطبية بعد الالتحاق بدورات تدريبية على الاسعافات الاولية.