Abdu al-Fadel Abdu al-Fadel

Abdo is a video journalist based in Syria. He previously worked as a department manager for Sham News Network, and is currently an employee at Smart News Network, a network that has many operating offices throughout Syria. The network provides various media types, including photographs, photo essays, news reports, etc...رحبا انا اسمي عبدو 29 سنة كنت اعمل سابقا مدير قسم لشبكة شام الاخبارية وانا حاليا مع وكالة سمارت للانباء حيث لدينا مكاتب وناشطين متواجدين في كافة أنحاء سوريا ونقوم بالعمل بكافة مجلات الاعلام من الصور الفوتوغرافية والتقارير المصورة والتقارير الاخبارية الخاصة

Media created

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New Institution Set to Receive Orphan...
Aleppo
By Abdu al-Fadel
26 May 2015

Video shot during press tour shows Dar al-Mumayyazun, a new orphanage in a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.

Interviewees:

Asmar al-Halabi, Manager of Dar al-Mumayyazun

Um Ayman, Psychological Counselor

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Aleppo Dump Poses Health Hazard
Aleppo
By Abdu al-Fadel
12 May 2015

May 12, 2015
Aleppo, Syria

Residents of the rebel-held Dawwar Jisr al-Hajj neighborhood in Aleppo have to breathe toxic fumes from an uncovered dump. People suffer serious respiratory tract infections and skin diseases because of living near the makeshift landfill, says a public health activist, who urged people to leave the area.

Local residents complained in interviews that Aleppo's local council, which supports the opposition, has not met its duties in finding a solution for this problem.

TRANSCRIPT

00:58 – 01:36
“Trucks are only moving garbage around; they are not removing garbage out of the dump. The local council is not providing any support for its employees. Q: Who is responsible for moving garbage out of the dump?
A: The local council.
Q: And the local council lacks support.
A: It does not have any support. Even our salaries are meager.
Q: There are no good salaries.
A: No, because there is no support.
Q: What is the solution?
A: The solution… this causes malaria. This is poisoning the environment and people. They should find a solution for this disease.”

01:37 – 01:58
“I sent my children to the village because of this dump. I cannot buy them medications anymore. They mostly complain of chest diseases. They cough and complain about their chest pain all the time. I put them in a car and sent them to the village. This is better than buying medications. I do not want anything to happen to them. Nobody is listening to us. Nobody is responding to us at all!”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mahmoud Barakat, Public Health Activist

02:07 – 03:03
“The area surrounding the dump at Dawwar Jisr al-Hajj is crowded. We have suffered because of this dump for the past four years. This dump is supposed to hold garbage before it is transported somewhere else. It has been the source of bad odors resulting from decomposing substances. Microbes and germs are being diffused in the air.
During the summer garbage is burnt, which diffuses gases and fumes. These fumes spread into an area that has a perimeter of more than five kilometres. Most of the people who live in the surrounding area suffer from chronic respiratory diseases.
People suffer from respiratory tract inflammation. Anyone who has asthma cannot live in this area, either.
Most people who live around Dawwar Jisr al-Hajj wish to find another place to live in because they want to escape fumes and odors.”

03:04 – 03:40
“Many people here suffer from skin and respiratory diseases. These fumes, which have been diffused for the past years, might also cause cancer. This is a very serious issue. This garbage has different substances, including plastic and chemicals. Burning these substances is diffusing toxic fumes. Despite several calls in the past four years, nothing has changed. The policy about this dump has not changed. Everything has been the same.
We urge people to leave this area. Leave this area!”

03:41 – 03:54
“It is not acceptable that I have to wear a mask while walking in the street. It is not acceptable either that bad odor goes through my window, which I have to keep open during the summer. My house is one kilometre away from the dump, as you just saw. I do not dare to open the windows because of the smell.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Local Resident
04:34 – 05:15 “I am one of the people who live near the dump of Dawwar Jisr al-Hajj. The dump is completely full. We urge officials who are responsible for this dump to remove the garbage. The diseases from which we are suffering are indescribable. We are trying and urging and different people to do something about this. It is nearly summertime. This could cause leishmaniasis and malaria. We are dying from bugs. Chemical substances are reacting and catching fire. The fumes are also blinding us.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mahmoud Barakat, Public Health Activist
05:40 – 05:57
“This is an image of the dump while is it on fire. It shows how smoke is spreading throughout the entire city of Aleppo. We urge officials to assume their responsibility towards the poor people who have not left this area. They need to remove the waste as soon as possible.”

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Syrian Soldiers Surrounded by Nusra F...
Jisr al-Shughour, Syria
By Abdu al-Fadel
11 May 2015

Jisr al-Shughour, Syria
May 11, 2015

More than 200 Syrian government fighters, possibly including high ranking officers, are believed to have been besieged in the government hospital complex in the town of Jisr al-Shughour for more than two weeks. This is one of the few locations where Syrian regime forces still exist in Idlib province. Syrian government forces have failed to break the siege despite several airstrikes and ground operations.

This video offers an inside look at positions held by the Nusra Front within the wrecked hospital complex, which has become a battlefield. Rebel fighters control three of the hospital's four main buildings.

Rebel military commanders speculated in interviews that high ranking Syrian, Iranian and Russian military officers, as well as the governor of Idlib might be caught in the remaining building.

SHOTLIST

Wide of building where Syrian government troops are hiding

Medium of Nusra Front fighter behind sandbags

Close-up of rifle tip

Various inside blood bank building held by Nusra Front

Various of destroyed buildings

Various inside the blood bank building

Wide of building held by regime forces

Various of Nusra Front fighters

Interview with Abu Zain al-Abidin, Nusra Front commander

Various of Abu Zain al-Abdidin with other Nusra Front fighters

Interview with unnamed Nusra Front fighter

Various of a room that was used as a detention center by regime forces

Interview with unnamed Nusra Front fighter

Close-up of graffiti written by regime fighters

Various of Nusra Front fighters attempting to approach regime-held building

Various of wrecked cars and killed regime fighters’ corpses

Medium of tank

Interview with Abu Omar al-Zaybaq, a Nusra Front commander

Various of regime-held building

Close-up of empty bullet casings

Various of Nusra Front fighters shooting at regime-held building

Wide of regime-held building

TRANSCRIPT

SOUNDBITE (Man, Arabic) Abu Zain al-Abidin , Nusra Front Commander
(02:10 – 03:53)

02:10
“In the name of God, peace be upon God’s Messenger, and thanks be to God. We are inside Jisr al-Shughour Hospital. Over there is the hospital’s main gate; here is the external clinics building behind me. This is the external clinics building. We are now in the hospital’s surrounding.
Q: We heard that high ranking officers from regime forces are inside the hospital. What kind of information do you have about this? And what is the approximate number of people inside the hospital, which you are now besieging?
A: The estimated number of people is 250. There might be high ranking personalities or the governor [of Idlib province]. There might be important personalities.
Q: In reaction, what did the regime do to break the siege and how did you manage to push back the regime forces?
A: It [the regime] is using all sorts of weapons, such as warplanes; it is trying with all sorts of weapons, but, thanks be to God, we are prepared to confront it. We shall retaliate with sophisticated and modern means. The regime will witness surprises in the next few hours.

03:26
We enforced a security perimeter with a radius of about five to six km and they could not withdraw. If they were able to withdraw they would have done it. Some of them withdrew but the others could not.
Our attack, thanks be to God, was very fast and we were able to enforce the siege unexpectedly. The perimeter we enforced on them was large. They were not able to withdraw. If they could withdraw they would have done it.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Nusra Front Fighter
04:17 – 04:53
“We are now at the external clinics building in the National Hospital of Jisr al-Shughour. The infidel enemy is located in that building, which is a few meters away. We are now closing down on them with the help of God Almighty.
God willing, we will storm the building with explosive-rigged cars the likes of which the regime has not seen.
The men we have brought to fight you love death as much as you love life. We have brought migrant as well as local fighters. Thanks be to God.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Nusra Front Fighter
(05:17 – 05:54) “This is not a prison. This is supposed to be a hospital. However, God’s enemy turned this into a cell to detain Muslims. Unfortunately, look how Muslims draw on the walls. May God help us. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Prisoners had no knives or weapons and were placed in the second floor underground. May God help us; may God help us. God willing, we have come to cut your throats.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Omar al-Zaybaq
(07:26 – 08:40)

07:26
“In the name of God, In the course of the hospital battle, thank be to God we are besieging [regime members] from all sides. Thanks be to God, we have controlled the three [main] buildings. There are one more building and the basement left.
God willing, we will soon be inside the basement where Assad’s gangs are located, which is where secrets are kept.

08:01
Q: What are these secrets? What is it that enabled people besieged in a single building to hold on?
A: God knows better, but it is said that the regime is so ferocious in trying to keep this hospital. God knows better, there might be high ranking officers, who could be Iranians or Russians. There could also be chemical weapons.
In the next few days we will bring you new information.”

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Under Siege: Ghouta Residents Struggl...
Eastern Ghouta
By Abdu al-Fadel
08 Dec 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Syria
December 2014

The rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus has been under a strict siege for more than two years. Government forces have banned almost every food item from entering the area.
This video shows local residents’ suffering in trying to provide their daily food.
People complain that bread has become unaffordable. To make sandwiches, they have to replace this staple food with other substances such as leafy vegetables or an apricot confection known as qamareddine, which is available for less than half the price of bread.

Shot List
1. M/S of street and men walking
2. C/S of vegetables and food
3. M/S of vegetables and food
4. C/S of bread with price (650 Syrian pounds per Kg)
5. M/S of child eating
6. M/S of child walking
7. C/S of men paying/purchasing
8. C/S of man cutting and weighing qamareddine (apricot confection)
9. C/S of child eating
10. Various of people packing and delivering qamareddine
11. W/S of streets
12. Various of people selling vegetables

13 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmad
(07:22) The price of bread is high now, around 650 or 700 Syrian pounds [per kilogram], so people decided to buy more vegetables. No one can afford the high prices now. People cannot even find work for 100 pounds, so they cannot pay 700 pounds for bread.
People are forced to go groves to pick mallows, chard and spinach to wrap olives with them for dinner – this is the the food that we can have.

Some people just boil spinach, add some oil to it and eat it without any eggs or meat.
This is all due to the siege the regime is imposing on us. God damn this regime, which is unjust to more than a million people in Eastern Ghouta. People are starving to death. Let have some mercy on us, God damn them! What can I say?

We are buying this [pack of apricot confection] for 200 Syrian pounds. We are wrapping cheese sandwiches for our kids with this.
We demand the nations who have a humanity and ethics to have compassion for kids and women, who are begging – when did our women and children ever beg? This is [our] reality life here, what else can I say (08:59).

14 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abu Mahrous
(09:00) Due to siege the regime is imposing on us, people tend to buy more vegetables now. We used to get rice, lentils and bulgar wheat from the camp, but their prices increased. For example, bulgar wheat is now 1,200 pounds [per kilogram] – bread costs around 700 pounds a kilogram. People are forced to buy chards and qamareddine. Bashar [al-Assad] and his aides and followers think they can besiege Ghouta, but God willing, we will remain strong, Ghouta is the land of wealth. We have enough lands to grow the food we need needs, and God will abandon us. After patience comes ease. God willing, we shall be victorious (10:09).

15 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Adnan Al Yafi

(10:10) People tend to buy more vegetables because one kilogram of bulgar costs 1700 pounds, and the same goes lentils and rice. The prices of basic supplies ingredients we use in our dishes went up and – what is worse – some of them are no longer available due to the siege. Could you imagine the price of the bread is more than 700 pounds [per kilogram], if you were lucky to find bread. But, thanks be to God, we are fine, even if we are using cabbage or chards instead of bread to make sandwiches and we are growing our own plants now to fulfill our daily needs. We have been besieged for three years now and nobody cares about us. But, thanks be to God, we are doing fine, despite the siege and the inflation we are facing. We hope for better days to come. Imagine that the cabbage and other vegetable leaves are primary ingredients for our dishes now to survive (11:50).

16 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abboud Al Arbini
(11:51): Two months ago, the roads were open blocked and it was much easier to deliver of all the products, so their prices were lower than now; sugar, rice, and everything else was cheaper than it is now. Now, as roads are blocked roads, the delivery of these products is harder, so their prices have gone up. Sugar now costs 2500 to 2800 pounds per kilogram, and a kilogram of rice costs 3,000 pounds 2,800 or 2,500 – it is sold for different prices. Now people are eating more qamareddine since it contains sugar, which the body requires. Other than qamareddine, people are eating vegetables such as chards because they are available in Ghouta. People have been unemployed for more than three years, so they need something cheap to eat. Chards or qamareddine are cheap and available in Ghouta (12:56).

(12:57) Flour used to cost 2,500 per kilogram, wheat cost 1000 pounds per kilogram and barley 700 pounds. With priuce hikes, people decided to buy qamareddine since it is cheaper. They are using qamareddine, chard or cabbage instead of bread to make sandwiches. Thanks be to God, we are able to grow these in Ghouta. God is merciful (13:43).

17 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Mohammad al-Qadi
(13:44) Due to the siege that is imposed on us and lack of basic ingredients to make bread, like flour, the price of bread has gone up to 700 pounds [per kilogram]. Who could afford it now? We have been under siege for three years now, unemployed, so we cannot afford to buy expensive food for our families. Most of the people tend to buy more vegetables since we can grow them in Ghouta, despite the siege and the price hike. God is granting us life, not Bashar al-Assad.

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Islamic Rebels in Syria Protect Chris...
Aleppo
By Abdu al-Fadel
13 Oct 2014

October 10, 2014
Aleppo, Syria

Mar Elias care center for the elderly used to be a Syriac catholic monastery, that maintained some of its aspects and rituals. Six senior citizens inhabit the monastery, most of whom have no other place to go or anyone to turn to. The monastery is on the front line in the conflict between the rebels and the regime. Al-Mujahidin, a moderate Islamic group affiliated with the Islamic front is protecting it.

Shot List:

Various shots show rituals and prayers being performed.
Various shots the interiors and exteriors of the monastery.
Interviews with a group of the monastery inhabitants.
Various shots show the daily life of the monastery inhabitants.

Interviewees:

1) Um Youssef, an inhabitant of the neighborhood, takes care of the elderly and visits them everyday (woman, Arabic).
2) Bridget, A senior citizen who does not have any relatives, in the blue outfit (woman, Arabic).
3) Antoinette, a senior citizen who as been living in the monastery for years, in the brown outfit (woman, Arabic).
4) Lamyaa, A woman who has been living in the monastery for a very long time, has two sibling in a regime controlled area, does not know anything about them (woman, Arabic).
5) Abu Steif, a leader in al-Mowa7edeen al-Morabeteen army, his mission is to protect the monastery and its inhabitants (man, Arabic)

Transcript:

Bridget:
(02:31) "I am happy, we want you to be happy."

(02:44) "Why would I live, to do what? I pray for God to take me but he does not listen to me."

Interviewer: He listens to you but he is ignoring you because he does not want to take such a good person like a you, you are a rose.

"I am the thorns not the rose."

(03:55) "People brought me here, I have been here for a long time, I cannot remember exactly. I am old and my life now is not the way it used to be."

(04:29) "I used to be very good in school and when I finished tenth grade, they gave me a certificate."

(05:18) "Once i was taking a lesson and when it was over, I was taken to hospital."

(05:29) "This is the picture for my ID."

(05:31) "When the nuns left, we left too."

Um Youssef:

(06:00) "I am Um Youssef from the elderly care center, I come here, I cook and take care of them. Thanks to the FSA. They bring us aid and bread constantly. The only thing that annoys us is the sound of shelling, but other than that, we want nothing but their safety and we hope they achieve victory."

"I cook for the elderly the meals they like the most, such as soups, yoghurt and light meals because they do not eat a lot. In the afternoon I make them snacks, and in the morning, I make the breakfast. We do not need anything, thank God. May God help them."

(06:57) "We are living here with Muslims and all the other sects, there is no conflict at all. They love and respect us and the feeling is mutual. There is no problem between us at all. We all worship one God and we all say Allah. We do not wish them harm and they do not wish us harm. Ever since the beginning of the revolution, we are one hand."

(07:33) "Sometimes we hear shelling, so the people here get scared, and they are old, so they start crying. They situation is very tough."

(07:51) "I came here for a reason of course. My house used to be in Achrafieh, but it was destroyed, so we turned to the Syriac catholic priest. We told him about our situation so he sent us here to Mar Elias. They gave us a room and told us to stay here. There used to be a cook here, and I used to help her, but when the shelling got intense, she got scared and her children did not allow her to come here anymore, so she left and I took over."

Abu Youssf:

(08:42) "My name is Abu Youssef, I am in the elderly care center in the Syriac Catholic church. I came here as a resident just like all the people here. Our condition is difficult and I had to stay in the care center to protect the elderly we have here. Their ages vary and some have reached 98-99 years old. The eldest is 99 years old and the youngest is 85 years old. My wife and I wanted to leave the care center, but then we thought that if we left, who would take care of those old people? Who will look after them? So we were forced to stay here, to take care of them, cook for them, and look after them. I will talk to the officials here to try to get aid and support."

(10:14) "Me and my wife heard noise. We ran and heard people screaming "barrel bomb", so we ran to see what it was. We found a barrel bomb right in front of our house. There was 5-10 meters between us and the barrel bomb. Thank God while it was falling it hit a pole and the cable was cut, so it fell on the ground without exploding. God protected us and I did not explode."

Abu Steif:

(11:16) "We respect them, we were friends with their children, we ate their food. This is not a crusade. We are only defending our dignity, our Islam. Who is saying this is a religious and an Islamic revolution is a troublemaker. It is not true, it is not Islamic, those people are being paid to ruin everything. We have been living together for decades. We have always been together and they know us. Our only problem is with the criminal regime."

(12:02) "These people are old, and those thugs keep threatening them. They do not allow them to leave the area, we try to help them as much as possible, we split the water, the food, and the medication in half, between us and them."

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Inside Kobane: Prices Surge and Secur...
Kobane ('Ayn al Arab)
By Abdu al-Fadel
10 Aug 2014

August 10, 2014
"Mahlya Market", Kobane (Ayn Al Arab), Syria

"Mahlya" market is a clothing market in the center of the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobane ('Ayn al Arab). With the city under IS siege, we visited the market to find out how life has been affected by the IS threat.

In the market, we meet the owner of a cosmetics and bridal shop. Also, we meet "Bahzad," the owner of a men's clothing store. Footage includes various shots of the main market, where meat and vegetables are sold.

(00:23) Shop owner 1: "Everything is really expensive here, even the taxis are now charging more than before. Plus, roads are no longer safe, you can never know what will happen to you when you're in your car; ISIS might seize you and steal your car and money." (00:57)

(00:57) "For example, the price of the tomatoes rose from 35 SYP [$0.20] to 140 [$0.85], bananas from 65 SYP to 225, oranges were 15 SYP now 50, whereas the apple prices were 50 SYP [$0.30] now the prices are 175 SYP [$1.05]. (01:15)

(01:53) Shop owner 2: "We used to get our goods from Aleppo back in the times when the infrastructure was good. We were able to call our merchants and ask them to ship us specific products for our shops. Now the situation is very bad, we can't ship from Aleppo anymore because of the bad roads. Our situation became even worse when we were put under siege. It's causing us four times more to transport the goods." (02:31)

(03:16) Shop owner 3: "The situation is very hard now. For the past 3 years, the roads to Turkey and Aleppo are blocked and we can't get new products to sell. Plus, the roads are dangerous, you can never know what to expect on the road; you might get captured and kidnapped, and treated in a very bad way (03:47).

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Protecting an Ancient Damascus Synagogue
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
19 Sep 2014

September 19, 2014
al-Madares Street, Jobar, Damascus

Local citizens protect and maintain an ancient Jewish synagogue in the besieged Damascus suburb of Jobar, despite the heavy damage inflicted on it by heavy clashes between the FSA and Syrian Army. Located at the end of al-Madares street, the synagogue is believed to date from 720 BCE and was a temple for the prophet Khedr and prophet Elias.

The monument was largely neglected by the Syrian government before the war and has been damaged many times with mortars and bombs during the war. However, its local caretaker, and the inhabitants of the area continue to care for the building, as they have for decades.

Shot list:
Various shots show the location of the synagogue and the damage to the building.
Various shots show the remains of the synagogue, such as historical artifacts and some ancient writings
Various shots show an underground chamber that is said to have been used by prophet Khedr to pray
Various shots show the massive destruction that happened around the synagogue

Sound Bites:
Abu Loay, a member of the local committee of Jobar, interested in the issue of the synagogue, explains the story of the synagogue from its establishment to the present day.
(00:39)

Interviewer: How long have you had this job?

Abu Loay: We have been taking care of the synagogue for the past 2-3 years. There used to be a guard here, but he left after the problems started, and then the inhabitants of the area left, so we came here, the men and myself. We are taking care of it. The citizens and the elderly of this town asked us to stay here and guard the synagogue and until now, it has not been attacked.

Interviewer: How was the synagogue looking when you started working here?

Abu Loay: It was amazing, it had fence and it was an ancient historical monument, it goes back thousands of years.
Interviewer: Were there any Jews living in the area?

Abu Loay: Here in Jobar we did not have any Jews, but back in the days of our grandparents, we used to have Jews. When I was a child, I remember there was a big percentage of Jews in the Jewish street. They used to come every Saturday from the Jewish street to visit the synagogue here. When Israel was established, many of the Jews left, that was along time ago.

Interviewer: Were there huge numbers of Jews in Damascus?

Abu Loay: Yes of course, they all used to live in the Jewish street, an area named the Jewish street, in the old city of Damascus.

Interviewer: When did they leave and where did they go?

Abu Loay: Most of them went to Israel, the government back then gave them a choice, to either stay here or leave, and a lot of them chose to leave.

Interviewer: How was the synagogue destroyed?

Abu Loay: About two years ago, from the side of Harasta, they [Syrian Army] attacked us with the multiple rocket launcher. Over 15 shells were dropped at the same time. I took footage of the incident and then I tried [to expose the attack], I went to many media outlets, trying to call the Jews to come and protect the synagogue, but nobody responded. They [Syrian Army] hit the ceiling in two spots and the kitchen burnt down.

Interviewer: Why did you keep protecting the synagogue if the Jews themselves did not respond and did not come to protect it?

Abu Loay: First of all, the synagogue is located in my town, I am from Jobar. Secondly, it is a legacy, not only for the Jews, but also for us. It is a legacy for the citizens of Jobar. It is thousands of years old and it is as valuable as any church or mosque.

Interviewer: Being here in the synagogue, do you feel any attachment to this place?

Abu Loay: I swear I feel like it is my own home. I was sleeping right here, with my wife and children, and if I have to go somewhere I lock the place up. I was residing here for about six months.

Interviewer: How did you feel when the synagogue was attacked and destroyed?

Abu Loay: I felt like I lost a piece of my heart. Only someone who lives here will understand the true value of this synagogue.

Interviewer: Do you think there is a way to repair the synagogue?

Abu Loay: In this condition, all of this wreckage must be removed, they destroyed it. Go back to the old pictures of the synagogue and compare, it used to be heaven.

Interviewer: Do you speak Hebrew?

Abu Loay: No I only speak the language of Jobar.

Interviewer: Do you mind escorting us on a tour around the synagogue?

Abu Loay: Of course, I do not mind, let’s take the tour.
(04:28)

(04:33) Here there used to be the main door, and there, it used to be a kitchen. There is the room I used to sleep in.
This room was an office and I used to sleep in it. The women used to sleep upstairs, and this was a storage room. The main temple is in the back. This is the only tree that is still living.

(05:44) This is a new building, and there were rooms and the rooftop.
That used to be the entrance of the synagogue, and there use to be two rooms up there. And there was a water well.
Can you see this slot in the wall, they used to store the oil cans in their. Near the pile of rocks there used to be the alter. Those two chambers are completely destroyed.

(07:17) Look at the pigeon nest in the gap in the wall. That was here before the shelling.
This is an old school, and there used to be a wall here, the old school is for UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency].
There used to be a room, then a small hall and then another room, all ancient.
This carpet is from the remains of the temple, they used to love those colors, our brothers the Jews. This is another one, everything valuable we were able to find after the destruction, we removed it.

(08:39) Here used to be a huge bronze round plate, and here is the step of the prophet. Here they used to keep the oil, here they used to have books, and there was the seating area. The building was ancient and the temple had a very high ceiling.

(09:30) Here, where I am walking, used to be the few steps leading to the alter. Where I am standing now is the location of the alter. It was about half a circle and made out of wood and the chandeliers above it, it used to be amazing.

(10:20) Those gaps in the walls used to have frames, and here used to be a painting, and next to it a bronze box labeled "Charity".
And here, as we said before, they used to keep the oil.

(11:28) Here is the prayer chamber, our grandfathers used to say that the prophet Khedr used to come to pray here. This hole in the ceiling was an air vent for this chamber, but the shelling has destroyed most of the room.

(12:21) Look what the destruction did to it. The last time they dropped vacuum bombs on this area, the buildings around the synagogue were also destroyed.

(12:41) There used to be four candlesticks and a chair, an antique chair, they are not destroyed, we preserved them.

(13:05) This is the wreckage of the synagogue. They [Syrian Military] attacked us with many types of weapons, including jets. The last airstrike, they dropped vacuum bombs on us and destroyed all of the buildings.

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FSA Offensive Against IS near Aleppo
al-Sabit
By Abdu al-Fadel
21 Sep 2014

September 21, 2014
al-Sabit, Aleppo Province, Syria

After the battles between ISIS and the FSA, control of rural areas north of Aleppo went to ISIS, from (al-Raei) town to (Azaaz). ISIS now controls an area that runs from (al-Raei) south to the town of (Marei) and the villages of (Souran) and (Ehtemilat), ISIS now holds a straight line from (al-Bab) city in eastern Aleppo to the town of (Marea). where a number of opposition armed factions are now participating in the ongoing battle. to the east, fighters from the (Nour al-Din al-Zinki) movement in (Ehtimilat) and (Souran) are fighting along side fighters from the (Fajr al-Horeya) brigade, and the (Jaish al-Mojahideen), all affiliated to the FSA and the fighters of the (Islamic Front).
On the other hand lines are being formed and held in the town of (Raii) in northern rural Aleppo, where fighters from the (Islamic Front) have the biggest presence with fighters from (al-Nusra) brigade.
up till this moment the lines mentioned above are holding and no advances from any side were recorded. only mutual artillery fire is an indication to an active front.

Transcription:

Speaker: “Allahu Akbar. We are now in the northern area. The Free Syrian army is engaged in freeing the town of Al Sabit. We are standing next to the mosque of Al Sabit, fighting against Al-Baghdadi’s troops. With us now is the leader of this offensive. Abu Ali, tell us about this battle.”

Abu Ali: “Thanks be to God, who helped us come into this town, and we were thankfully able to free it from those dogs. Hopefully we’ll advance even further up into the town’s gate.”

Speaker: “These people are part of a gathering of the inhabitants of Al Sabit to free the town. Here with us is Abu Mahmoud. Abu Mahmoud, what comments do you have?”

Abu Mahmoud: “I’m not available for comment now.”

Speaker: “Hamid, what do you want to say about the current situation?”

Hamid: “When the bullets started to fire at my car with Abu Youssef inside, I tried to open the door, but they shut it and kept it closed with all of us inside.”

Speaker: “So we’re actually talking to Hamid, the living martyr. And now we’re with another fighter, Abu Youssef. Earlier we tried talking to him but he was called away. Now what do you have to say?”

Abu Youssef: “Whoever God blesses with long life will not be harmed no matter what. Hopefully God will protect us all. Allahu Akbar.”

Speaker: Now I’m crouching down to show the car that we escaped out of. No one can believe anyone came out of it alive, but we all did by the grace of God. Here is the car. Its tires were shot and the whole left side is full of bullet holes. Thanks be to God that we came out of it in safety. Here are more fighters working to free the town. Allahu Akbar.

Commander giving orders to soldiers: “We’re going to advance in groups of three. I’ll go first and no one ask any questions. Cover me. I’ll go and hide behind that tank. Follow me. Now go and hide next to those tires.

Frame 0004
FSA Expand Control of Golan Heights
Quneitra
By Abdu al-Fadel
17 Sep 2014

September 17, 2014
Al-Hamidiya, Golan, Syria

FSA fighters battle Syrian Army forces as they take the town of Al-Hamidiya, located on the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights. Included in the footage are shots of deserted Syrian Army barracks.

Transcript:

(0:13) We are wandering now inside one of the regime's barracks in al-Hamidiyah after the "Mujahideen" took it over. These are the fortifications that they were using, and you can see here the regime's leftovers. (0:39).

(1:04) Fighter #1: Thank God, we were able to completely free the town of al-Hamidiyah from the hands of the regime. [We won] thanks to the FSA fighters, along with other units fighting with us, and of our strategic location in Quneitra. We left the regime with huge losses in both number of soldiers killed and the amount of material lost. (1:52)

(1:53) Fighter #1: God willing, the military operations will not end until we free all the remaining territories held by the regime in Quneitra. This is likely because we are 1KM from downtown (2:10).

(2:24) Contributor: Clashes in the town of Al Hamidiyah (2:29).

(2:46) Fighter #2: After setting Al Hamidiyah free, we are looking forward to freeing the city of Baath, located on the frontline. We resisted some attacks from the regime, and, god willing, it will be free within days and the victory is near (3:18).

(3:19) Contributor: What kind of weapons were you using? Were there any attacks from the regime using heavy armored vehicles? (3:25).

(3:25) Fighter #2: The regime tried to break in many times from different areas, but, thanks to God, the FSA resisted and held the regime back (3:47).

Frame 0004
Organic Electricity Made In Syria
Damascus Suburbs
By Abdu al-Fadel
11 Sep 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Civilians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta have turned to biomass fuel extraction to compensate for the desperate lack of gas and electricity in the area. The biomass holes are filled with cow manure, perfectly sealed, and left under the heat of the sun. They produce methane gas, which is used to operate machinery, cars, and watering pumps for the farmlands. By fueling farm equipment, the fuel is also helping alleviate some of the food shortages in the neighborhood.

Shot list:

Various shots of the Biomass hole.
Various shots of the function of the project concerning watering the farmlands.
Interviews with the workers in the area of the Biogas hole
Various shots of Eastern Ghouta

Sound Bites:

Female farmer:

(01:34) "I have 9 kids. We live close to here and we are constantly looking for food. Alhamdulillah, what can we say. May God protect us and protect everyone. The situation can't get any worse.

Abu al-Abbas, Responsible for the Biomass holes project:
(01:54) Interviewer: How do you benefit from the Biomass holes? Abu al-Abbas:
"We use them to operate machinery, motorcycles and sometimes cars. For example, this motorcycle, we connect the tank in it to the hole through a pump and we fill it in the amount [of Biogas] of a tea cup and it is enough for the whole day. Even our car, we fill it with gas and it works normally". (02:46)

Abu Karam, A farmer in one of the lands in Eastern Ghouta, speaks about the benefits of the project for watering the farm lands in the besieged area.

(02:56) interviewer: Tell us about your life here in Eastern Ghouta and what made you invent these things. Abu Akram:
"We are under constant shelling and bombing, planes are firing day and night, but thank god we are living with our families. We have crops and we have things to eat, and we are surviving despite of the shelling,".

Are you the only ones living like this, or is all of eastern Ghouta?
"All of eastern Ghouta, and even the people who do not have lands and crops. We deliver to them vegetables and anything that we harvest. Also milk, when we hear someone is sick, we send them milk". (03:49)

(03:50) Abu al-Abbas: Interviewer: What can you tell us about the other benefits of the Biomass hole?
"We use it to extract gas that is used for machines, such as the water pump that allows us to water the vegetables we plant". (04:14)

Name, Profession: Abu Yasser, A farmer and cows patron, speaks about the importance of the cows in this process.
(04:15) Abu Yasser: "Cows have so many benefits, and using the cows we were able to produce gas. Under this siege, no matter how long it remains, we are still able to survive and invent things to help us. Concerning milk for the infants, this are has been blockaded for the past year and a half, but, thank God, we have milk and we are using it to make cheese and all the necessities. Plus we are encouraging people to work, we also benefit from the meat, but the most important thing now is the gas we are producing because of the cow's manure". (05:42)

(05:42) Interviewer: Where do you get the basic material for the biogas hole? Abu al-Abbas:
"We need the manure, which is available from cows, and everything else is available, except for the plastic cover, which is very hard to find and very expensive. It [the plastic cover] costs about 70,000 SYP ($450), and before the siege it did not cost more than 1000-2000 ($20-$40) SYP. Interviewer: How does this project benefit Ghouta? Abu al-Abbas: It is beneficial for every one is Ghouta, we water the plants that we need so we can eat and survive, we use the gas to turn on lights, and cook. It is a very successful, beneficial project". (06:53)

(06:55) Interviewer: What is the amount [of fuel] this hole produces? Abu al-Abbas:
"It lasts for about a day and a half, we water the farm lands and we use it for cooking. Now all the farmers are creating similar holes because we use it for so many things, we also use it for the electricity generator". (07:35)

(07:42) Interviewer: How do you build the biogas holes? Abu al-Abbas:
"We dig the hole, we put plastic covers in the bottom, fill it with manure, and we add compost. Then we cover it with another plastic cover, it decomposes under the heat, and then we connect a pump to it.

Interviewer: How much does this hole cost?
Abu al-abbas:
"It costs about 150,000 SP ($960)" (08:30)

(09:54) Interviewer: Can you tell us about the benefits of the Biogas hole? Abu Akram:
"It is helping us watering the crops so we can eat and survive. We are also using it for cooking and operating machines. It is helping us a lot since we are under siege, and the regime has banned food and water from reaching this area". (10:58)

Frame 0004
Syria: Besieged Civilians Turn to Bio...
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
05 Sep 2014

September 5, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Civilians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta have turned to biomass fuel extraction to compensate for the desperate lack of gas and electricity in the area. The biomass holes are filled with cow manure, perfectly sealed, and left under the heat of the sun. They produce methane gas, which is used to operate machinery, cars, and watering pumps for the farmlands. By fueling farm equipment, the fuel is also helping alleviate some of the food shortages in the neighborhood.

Shot list:

Various shots of the Biomass hole.
Various shots of the function of the project concerning watering the farmlands.
Interviews with the workers in the area of the Biogas hole
Various shots of Eastern Ghouta

Sound Bites:

Abu al-Abbas, Responsible for the Biomass holes project:
(09:48) Interviewer: How do you benefit from the Biomass holes?
Abu al-Abbas:
"We use them to operate machinery, motorcycles and sometimes cars. For example, this motorcycle, we connect the tank in it to the hole through a pump and we fill it in the amount [of Biogas] of a tea cup and it is enough for the whole day. Even our car, we fill it with gas and it works normally". (10:43)

Abu Karam, A farmer in one of the lands in Eastern Ghouta, speaks about the benefits of the project for watering the farm lands in the besieged area.
(10:55) interviewer: Tell us about your life here in Eastern Ghouta and what made you invent these things.
Abu Akram:
"We are under constant shelling and bombing, planes are firing day and night, but thank god we are living with our families. We have crops and we have things to eat, and we are surviving despite of the shelling,".

Are you the only ones living like this, or is all of eastern Ghouta?
"All of eastern Ghouta, and even the people who do not have lands and crops. We deliver to them vegetables and anything that we harvest. Also milk, when we hear someone is sick, we send them milk". (11:46)

(11:48) Abu al-Abbas:
Interviewer: What can you tell us about the other benefits of the Biogmass hole?
"We use it to extract gas that is used for machines, such as the water pump that allows us to water the vegetables we plant". (12:12)

Name, Profession: Abu Yasser, A farmer and cows patron, speaks about the importance of the cows in this process.
(12:13) Abu Yasser: "Cows have so many benefits, and using the cows we were able to produce gas. Under this siege, no matter how long it remains, we are still able to survive and invent things to help us. Concerning milk for the infants, this are has been blockaded for the past year and a half, but, thank God, we have milk and we are using it to make cheese and all the necessities. Plus we are encouraging people to work, we also benefit from the meat, but the most important thing now is the gas we are producing because of the cow's manure". (13:41)

(13:54) Interviewer: Where do you get the basic material for the biogas hole?
Abu al-Abbas:
"We need the manure, which is available from cows, and everything else is available, except for the plastic cover, which is very hard to find and very expensive. It [the plastic cover] costs about 70,000 SYP ($450), and before the siege it did not cost more than 1000-2000 ($20-$40) SYP. Interviewer: How does this project benefit Ghouta?
Abu al-Abbas: It is beneficial for every one is Ghouta, we water the plants that we need so we can eat and survive, we use the gas to turn on lights, and cook. It is a very successful, beneficial project". (15:05)

(15:17) Interviewer: What is the amount [of fuel] this hole produces?
Abu al-Abbas:
"It lasts for about a day and a half, we water the farm lands and we use it for cooking. Now all the farmers are creating similar holes because we use it for so many things, we also use it for the electricity generator". (15:56)

(16:12) Interviewer: How do you build the biogas holes?
Abu al-Abbas:
"We dig the hole, we put plastic covers in the bottom, fill it with manure, and we add compost. Then we cover it with another plastic cover, it decomposes under the heat, and then we connect a pump to it.

Interviewer: How much does this hole cost?
Abu al-abbas:
"It costs about 150,000 SP ($960)" (18:22)

(19:30) Interviewer: Can you tell us about the benefits of the Biogas hole?
Abu Akram:
"It is helping us watering the crops so we can eat and survive. We are also using it for cooking and operating machines. It is helping us a lot since we are under siege, and the regime has banned food and water from reaching this area". (20:40)

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Syria: Besieged Damascus Suburb Conti...
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
06 Sep 2014

September 6, 2014
Jobar, Damascus, Syria

Rebel fighters in the besieged Damascus suburb of Jobar discuss the destruction of their neighborhood and their determination to continue to fight the Syrian Army.

(00:47) “This used to be a stronghold for the thugs [Assad regime], but thank God we were able to take over those buildings. We found this trench that was dug by the regime and we were able to get into the buildings using our trenches and they were not able to do anything. We found two corpses of a mother and her daughter; they killed them and left them here until they became skeletons. So we took them and buried them. Over there we found a burnt corpse of a woman. Thank god we were able to beat them[Syrian Army], we went in with minimal weaponry, they have air power and tanks, we only have God on our side and we were able to beat them”. (01:48)

(02:26) “Until now we are surviving, despite of the siege, this hard life and all the problems that we go through. We are still holding on and we will not give up on our cause. Thank God they are losing everyday and they are losing lots of weapons and people. We kill his people and tell him to come pick up the corpses and they won't do it because he is a failure. He does not care about anything but power and to remain in control of his seat [of power]. All of these people who are dying are brothers to us, they are like family to us, most of them are from Aleppo, and Damascus. [There are] even Alawites, they are also our brothers, but this person [Bashar al Assad] is not going to rest until he turns us all against each other, the Muslims, the Christians and the Alawites. We are all Syrians, and we will not rest until we take this person [Bashar al Assad] down from the presidential seat. We actually killed a general in the army and told him [Bashar al Assad] to come and pick up the corpse. He said that he does not care, and to go throw him anywhere. That simply tells us how careless he is about everything except for himself. He does not care about all of these young men who are dying. No matter what, we will not back down and we will keep fighting, and with the help of God we are going inside, it will not be long before we go inside”. (03:47)

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Golan heights: Syrian Rebels Show off...
By Abdu al-Fadel
01 Sep 2014

September 1, 2014
Quneitra, Golan, Syria

Opposition Fighters from the Rebels of Syria Brigade show off captured UN and Syrian Army Posts in the Golan. Footage gives an inside look at the captured posts, which are about 2km away from Israeli Army positions on the Golan Heights. When fighters from another militia, Jabhat al-Nusra, captured the UN post they apprehended 40 UN peacekeepers stationed at the position. Footage shows UN equipment and close and wide shots of the area.

Translation:

Young fighter, Rebels of Syria Brigade:

"Grace is to God the Almighty the “truthful promise” battle.

When we first started the incursion it was from this side and we pressed on until the (regime) army detected our presence here. That was when we engaged them from our location near that barbed wire. The skirmishes continued as we pressed forward. The big battle took place when we got here and the liberation of this checkpoint began."

Military commander Abu Raed from the Rebels of Syria front:

"The 'truthful promise' fight is just the beginning. After the liberation of this checkpoint we will press on toward the capital Damascus to liberate it from the vile regime and the cursed Shia who support it (regime) and fight along side of it."

Reporter: Is the entire checkpoint and crossing being held by rebels now?

Abu Raed: "Yes, the entire crossing is rebel held thanks to the strength of almighty god and the heroic efforts of the Mujahadin, who have given their lives for God to accomplish this great deed."

Reporter: What about the rest of the stages of the operation?

Abu Raed: "The stages were the crossing itself, the city of Quneitra and Hamidiya and these are all held by the rebels now."

Frame 0004
Air Raid Sirens: A Civilian Weapon Ag...
Idlib
By Abdu al-Fadel
01 Sep 2014

August 19, 2014
Maarat al-Numaan, Idlib, Syria

A Syrian rebel leader decided to create a siren system, made from the sirens of a destroyed regime power plant in Maarat al-Numaan, near Idlib, to alert the town’s residents to the regime's aircraft. The citizens are reacting positively to the sirens and, when they hear them, they evacuate the streets and head to the nearest shelters. The system is helping to save civilians in the city and the number of the injuries and fatalities has decreased, despite the regime bombing residential areas.

Shot List:
Kids playing in the streets
Residents' reactions when the hear the sirens
The siren shown from different angles
The sirens work when the raids are near
General shots of Maarat al-Numaan

Transcription:

Mohammad Fattouh, responsible for the sirens system in Maarat al-Numaan (man, Arabic):
“Due to the "length" of the revolution and the increasing number of raids, and the difficulty in alerting the largest number of residents, we decided to fix the sirens that were previously at the power plant and destroyed by Bashar's raids on the city, and we warned everyone that the sirens will "launch" as soon as the raids begin. Alhamdulillah the operation is going well, and the number of deaths is decreasing with time. The same as my child is important for myself, any child in the town has the same importance. I love all the children in my town as much as I love my own, and that's the reason we're doing our best to protect them.”

Abu Mohammad, resident of Maarat al-Numaan (man, Arabic):
“Before fixing the alarm system, raids used to hit us without any previous warning. Now, once we hear the sound of the sirens, we gather the necessities we need, we call our kids who are playing in the streets and hide in the shelters. We're no longer afraid of the air strikes, and we're living our lives normally thanks to the sirens. We would like to thank Abou Khaled, the responsible for creating the system, for saving our lives and the lives of our kids. When the system works, the number of people wounded by the air strikes is less than it was before.”

Abdulhameed, child of Maarat al-Numaan (male, Arabic):
“I always play in the streets, but I go to the shelter now every time I hear the sirens.”

Mustafa, child of Maarat al-Numaan (male, Arabic):
“When I hear the sirens, I hide in the building. When they're over, I go back to play with my friends.”

Ahmad, child of Maarat al-Numaan (male, Arabic):
“I go hide in my house once I hear the sirens, so that the raids don't hit me and my family. When the raids are over, we continue to play normally.”

Khaled, store owner in Maarat al-Numaan (man, Arabic):
“Before the system was active, we weren't aware of the raids. Now, when the sirens are sounded, I close my shop and go hide with everybody else in the shelters. Now I feel safer with the new system, once it's "launched", we leave everything, our cars and our shops, and head to the nearest refuge.”

Frame 0004
Aleppo's Decaying Public Works
Aleppo
By Abdu al-Fadel
31 Aug 2014

August 15, 2014
al-Ansari District, Aleppo, Syria

Workers in Aleppo's rebel-held al-Ansari sector fight to maintain what is left of the area's basic services, including electricity, water, and sanitation, after much of it has been pulverized by the war. Lack of materials, fuel, equipment, money and expertise are the result of heavy shelling and a near total lack of funding and support from outside sources.

Shot List:
Various shots of the broken equipment
Various shots of the bombed equipment
Various shots of the conditions of the electricity infrastructure in the sector
Various shots of the conditions of the water infrastructure in the sector

Transcript:

Local resident responsible for water infrastructure:

“We do not get water here. We get water for one day every 10-15 days and our job is to provide water for the shops and people who do not have water. Thank God, we are able to fulfill the needs of people as much as we can”.

Local resident responsible for electricity:

“We need many tools and equipment. We need oil, which is the most important thing to get the generator to work, and we have to check it constantly and refill it with oil, which is very hard to get. What we do is, if there is another generator that is completely broken and unable to be fixed, we pump the oil out of it and we use it in other generators. However, there are so many generators that need oil, like those in Salah al-Din, al-Zebdeyye, al-Sukkari, and many others.

We are the group responsible for the electricity in al-Ansari sector; we received a complaint today from the Salah al-Din area that the cables have melted and caused a power cut. We are three workers in the areas of Salah al-Din, Jesr al-Khaj, al-Zebdeyye, and many more; we are facing many difficulties and dangers, such as snipers and barrel bombs, we are facing many dangers. And other than the dangers, we do not have tools or equipment, we have nothing, we are trying to work using minimal tools that we can get our hands on, but we do not have anything to help or support us.

A few days ago, we had a man who was working to fix an electricity problem when something exploded and burned his whole face. So we face a lot of dangers, and we do not have anything, we need insulations, lamps, we do not have the tools we need. We face a lot of dangers, but hopefully it will all pass”.

Local maintenance worker:

“Here in al-Ansari sector, we try to fix and reuse the tools, the tip carts, and the tractors that were destroyed by the shelling. It is very difficult for us to find spare parts, we do not have them in this area and we are forced to get them from far places, sometimes from regime controlled areas. We have so many tractors and tip carts that are not working because the spare parts are not available. We also lack funding, we asked so many parties to help us, such as the city committee and the province committee. We ask people inside and outside to support us with a little bit of money, a minimal amount comparing to what they send to the other sectors. We wish from the whole world to see us and to see how we are working, all of the workers here do not exceed the number of 30 workers who take minimal salaries, but still they are managing. The men here are very cooperative and they understand that we are in a war situation, and that we do not have any material or funds. We are dealing with a man named Abu Bashir, who is the president of the sector, and a military party have contributed a bit to pay the salaries of the workers, along with the committee. We hope for more cooperation because, at any minute, the al-Ansari sector could fall apart because of the lack of funding. The city and the province committees are refusing to cooperate with us”.

Abu Bashir Kabbani, president of al-Ansari sector:

“Here we are in the al-Ansari sector, a part of the western sector of liberated Aleppo. We provide many services, such as sanitation, water, electricity. We also provide water tanks because the water here is always cut off. We are facing many difficulties, such as the lack of money. Whenever we want to fix our equipment that was ruined because of the shelling we cannot because we do not have any funds, or the mechanical aspect is not available, or the spare parts are not available. We try to find those spare parts and we spend 10-20 days looking for them and we cannot find them. For example, we have a crane that has been broken for 20 days and we are looking for a spare part to fix it and cannot find it. We have tip carts that we cannot fix because we do not have any spare parts. What has affected us the most is the shelling because it has destroyed all of the machinery.

We have 60 machines in the sector and only 3 or 4 of them are [still] working. The main reason is the shelling and the second reason is the workers. Whenever there is shelling, they stop working. The third reason is the mechanics, we do not have any mechanics here to fix the machines and there is no funding or support. We are doing the best we can and until this moment, we have not taken one day off. With all of the shelling, we did not take a day off, and we work 24/7, we have shifts all the time. There is also something else that we did not mention. When a barrel bomb is dropped we go out to clean the streets as much as we can whenever we have the machinery to do that.

Concerning the complaints, we have an office for the complaints for water and electricity and also for the sanitation. We have a record, a citizen comes and files a complaint, we take information about him and his area and we try to fix the problem. For the electricity we are always quick to fix it, but for the sanitation issue [like garbage collection] there are specific times. For electricity, because there is a shortage already, we try to help the citizens as much as possible, and we are trying to provide a longer period of electricity usage for the citizens. Hopefully it will work.
We have four main jobs here in the sector: providing electricity, providing water, maintaining water tanks, and maintaining sanitation services”.

“We are the sanitation services, we have four workers, and we are working, we are lacking machines. The machines we have are very old and we need funds. Everyday we fill 13-14 trucks; we work in al-Mashhad, Salah al-Din, eastern Ansari, al-Zebdeyye, al-Sukkari, our salaries are minimal, and our machinery is old, but we are patient and we only ask for funds”.

Frame 0004
Eastern Ghouta: One Year After the Ch...
Damascus
By Abdu al-Fadel
21 Aug 2014

August, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus

Residents of the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta reflect on the chemical attack on their neighborhood one year later. The footage opens with shots from the night of the attack and then moves to footage shot one year later in which children and residents recall their experiences. A grave digger is also interviewed at a burial yard containing mass graves of people killed in the attack.

Translation:

Man at 1:50: Reminds me of Tragedy. tragedy "printed in our hearts" that will never go (fade) away. it will be transmitted to future generations, it will be saved in all history books. Imagine how in 1 glimpse, more than 2000 persons found death, children, women youth ...
Contributor: is this the neighborhood that was bombed?
Man: yes this is it. We removed the corpse of 60 persons from there houses you see in the back, kids and women. The way they bombarded this neighborhood can't be described, not even by a "Butcher", no words to describe how a person, a government or a regime can do this.
Contributor: These days remind you of what?
Man: Tragedy
Contributor: what were you doing the same time last year?
Man: Nothing, we were living a normal life. there was bombing, and we were trying to coop (adapt) with the situation, until God makes things better. It was normal until they gave us a gift (present) that took away the lives of nearly 2000 persons (kids, women..) You can see dead kids everywhere "like flowers". Look at those kids (showing the kids playing next to them), innocents. Isn't it a pity to kill this innocence, this laughter?
Girl at 3:24: We were sleeping at home when our neighbor started to yell at us : "go to the roof, there's chemicals here!" We went up to the roof, then we heard gunshots, we came back down. We entered our rooms, closed the doors, got water supplies with us and wore our masks, then we started to faint and fell on the floor, until the paramedics came to rescue us. Among the dead were my grandma, my uncle, my cousin, his wife and daughter.
Man at 4:20: Here are all the dead people.
Contributor: Approximately how many dead?
Man: Around 300
Contributor: Where were the others buried?
Man: In Hamoryah, in Kafr Batna. They were buried in mass graves, due to the incapability in burying them.
At 4:58: This grave used to fit approximately 40 corpses, we put 80, one on each side. Then we covered the bodies with soil and we did it over and over again.
At 5:14: Approximately 400 or a little bit less of those who were buried here were dead because of the chemicals, 150 of those who were living here were buried here. The other 150-200 were transported from other villages to here, and approximately 400-500 martyrs were buried in other neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta.
At 5:34: There (pointing at a neighborhood in the background) you find around 204 martyrs that died because of the explosion, caused by a bomb planted in a car by the regime. Approximately 1800-2000 martyrs are in these graves.
It's a very tragic memory, all our loved ones, our women, our kids, our youth are dead. I pray for God to give everyone who participated in this massacre the punishment they deserve. Some media agencies said that other neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta were affected, but the truth is that Zamalka and Ain Karma were the most affected.
At 6:32: I hope the international community thinks and punishes everyone who participated in this massacre in the courts, especially the Syrian regime and everyone else related to it.
At 6:52: on 8/21/2013, around 12:30-1 at night, we heard the first rocket. Everyone was horrified and started to shout :Chemicals, Chemicals, and it was at this time when the ambulances started to come to give the first aids. We helped as much as we could with the simple primitive capacities we had, few medicaments and Vaccines (syringes. needle..)
Unfortunately, those we couldn't help fell on the floor until they were transported to the hospitals in Eastern Ghouta. It was a really sad tragic day. Everything was expected, but not being bombed with chemicals, it was really hard. Around 3 at night, 2 or 3 more rockets were fired, targeting a crowded residential area, and people started to go up the the higher floors in the buildings, trying to escape. Unfortunately, the 2 rockets were fired simultaneously, the number of martyrs was really high. One of the medical centers was hit, all the medical crew and the people there were killed. We started to look for survivors from these medical centers, searching them one by one, and we buried all the martyrs, around 150 from Irbin and Kafr Batna, some women were buried there as well, due to our limited capacities.
Subhan Allah, it was one of the hardest days, we moved martyrs from 12 at night that day til the next day at noon, most of them were kinds and women from Irbin, and were buried in mass graves here.
It was a real tragic memory. An international committee of researches came and took samples, supposedly to hold the regime accountable for this massacre. And it was of course proven after the analysis that the regime was responsible for this tragedy, because the rebels don't have enough capacities to do it, And until now, we saw nothing from the international community, only few compensations and aids were given to the families of the martyrs.

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Children Collect Garbage to Survive i...
By Abdu al-Fadel
10 Jun 2014

June 10, 2014
Aleppo, Syria

Khaled and Mohamad are two young brothers who spend their days collecting garbage to support their family of nine. They face many problems throughout their long, hard, day and together get paid the same salary as a single worker. Their father used to sell vegetables for a living, but now he is unemployed because of the constant bombing in Aleppo.

Shots in the video:
Various shots of the streets in Aleppo.
Various shots of a child selling candy.
Various shots of Khaled and Mohamad collecting garbage.
Various shots of the entrance of the place where they keep the garbage bins.
Various shots of their father and brothers.
Various shots of the family playing.

Interviews:
Mohamad,
Khaled
The father

Transcript:

Mohamad:
“My dream is to buy a bicycle and ride around on it. I come here to work so we will not need charity.”

Khaled:
“We are nine people at home and so we are working as garbage collectors to support the family. They are paying us both combined the salary of one, and there is not enough food or bread. It is a normal job, anybody would do it, and we cannot find any other work to do. We look for work and there isn’t any, look around you, most people are unemployed. Some people are employed and some employ others. I want Bashar al-Assad to leave, so I can live with my family in safety and happiness. I like what I am doing and most importantly it is Halal. All we want is for this murderer to leave. Everyday he kills over 200 people, everyday barrel bombs are dropped on mosques, all we want is for him to leave.
Today the plane fired while we were working. My brother ran to hide in a building but and I kept sweeping, while shrapnel was falling nearby.”

The father:
“I used to sell vegetables for living, now I am sitting here without work, because of all the bombing and shooting and the barrel bombs that are dropping everywhere.”

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Syrian Children Learn How to Respond ...
Idleb
By Abdu al-Fadel
03 May 2014

April-May 2014.

Doctors in rural Idlib teach children how to respond to chemical gas attacks. The footage begins with images of a chemical attack in the town of Telmenes and then cuts to footage of a doctor in a classroom instructing children on how to respond to a chemical attack.

00:00 - 01:52
Video shot on April 21, 2014
The video shows people suffocating in Jarjanaz Field Hospital, in Talmenes, rural Idleb. Local witnesses said government helicopters hit the area with barrel bombs that contained toxic gases. According to activists, more than 130 people including women and children, suffered from respiratory problems and were transferred for treatment to field hospitals in Tel Mens, and Turkey.

01:53 - 08:47
Video shot on May 3rd, 2014, in Maarat al Noaman, rural Idleb
Shows Children at an elementary school attending training sessions to create awareness on how to deal with chemical and toxic attacks. Volunteer local doctors have launched a campaign to train children on basic methods and precautions to survive and overcome any chemical or toxic attack.

Transcription:
Dr Jamal Alwan- campaign supervisor:

You exit the explosion area immediately while covering your face with the mask and then you wash yourself with water to get rid of the toxic material. Any cough, shortness of breath, and eye burning requires immediate check from the closest medical point.
If we are in a place where masks are not available, we cover our nose and mouth with anything we can find, such as our sleeve.

Dr Jamal Alwan- campaign supervisor:
What should we do if we face a chemical attack?

Child1:
We should move away from the explosion area, cover our nose and mouth with a mask and if not available then with a piece of fabric, wash ourselves with water, and head to the nearest medical point in case of a cough or shortness of breath.

Child2:
If the regime drops toxic bombs on us, we should move away from the area immediately and cover our faces, then go home and wash with cold water, but the most important thing is to step away from the area where the toxic bomb was dropped.

Dr Jamal Alwan- campaign supervisor:

The purpose of this campaign is to spread awareness among children in order to decrease the number of injuries that might happen in case the horrible regime drops toxic bombs again. We don’t have advanced tools to shoot down the planes that are dropping the toxic bombs on us, nor to defend ourselves. All we can do is to escort the women, children, and civilians out of the area where the toxic bomb was dropped, and then to wash their faces and the exposed areas with water, and to hide them in a sealed room where there can be no leak for the toxic gas. In the cases where we witness, suffocating, shortness of breath, severe cough, and eye watering, we move these cases to the health care centers, medical points, and hospitals that can help them.

Dr. Houdeifa Hamoud- campaign supervisor:

When you witness the drop of a barrel bomb, you have to move away from the area immediately, do not go to the area where it dropped to watch. Most important thing is to cover your face, with a mask, a shirt, or any piece of fabric.
We started a campaign to spread awareness among school students and children specifically due to the increase of barrel bombs dropping which carry toxic gases such as Chlorine, Sarin , and we noticed many injuries from these chemical attacks in the country side of Idlib, so we started this campaign in order to protect children from these attacks, and we are teaching them techniques to deal with the attacks, such as when a barrel bomb drops, we run in the opposite direction of the wind, we cover our faces with any piece of fabric in order not to inhale the toxic substance, and taking the injuries to the nearest medical point. Very easy and simple instructions, as we said washing the face and covering in with a piece of fabric due to the lack of masks and the lack of support. We as a first aid crew, we’re trying to help these children, men of the future, avoid getting harmed and we hope for the best.