Darya Traders’ Situation Changed by Revolution

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Enab Baladi Issue # 89 – Sun, Nov. 03, 2013

350881317872Joudi Salam – Enab Baladi

“What does not stem ends” is a common saying that applies to many traders who were affluent and now their business has dropped or completely stopped after the disturbance and conflict in their areas. Although these traders were affected by the economic consequences of the Syrian revolution, and in some situations, their circumstances are worse than many other people. Nevertheless, their sufferings were not highlighted and did not receive attention, like other suffering segments of their society.

Abu-Assad is one of the wealthiest people in Darya. He was working in wood trade; however, his work stopped following the recent crackdown on Darya after it was badly influenced by the security conditions in and around the city. Abu-Assad refused to immigrate outside of Syria because he feared alienation’s difficulties and he preferred to live on his farm that is few miles away from Darya. He thought that he could work there to earn his daily living and not to spend from his savings that he lost most of them when his wood warehouses were burned entirely.

Abu-Assad, who used to bring workers to do the work in his farm, is working now with his family by themselves in cultivation and agriculture where they do plant vegetables such as aubergine, Zucchini, lettuce and beans.

Abu Assad runs every morning at 6 o’clock carrying his goods to al-Hal market where he passes seven regime’s checkpoints. In these checkpoints, they check every bag he has, some of them steal some vegetables and the others insult him. Abu Assad arrives to the market after a long time, exhausted and late to be able to sell all of his goods. Therefore, he sleeps on his car seat waiting for the next morning to sell what is left with him, preferring it to returning back to his farm and going through the same process of checkpoints again and again.

Abu-Assad’s wife, who is not used to do such work, complains from working under the sun heat, whereas, Abu-Assad sits lonely contemplating Darya, which is only few miles away but out of his reach. He cries heartbroken when he remembers that he lost his earned wealth in one day.

The life of this wealthy family has turned upside down. They used to ride plush cars and now they live such a hard life. Today they have to work hard for months to get the same amount of money that they used to get in few days.

Abu-Assad is not the only one who has suffered from this harsh and radical difference in the standard of living and lifestyle, many others have been forced to look for simple jobs like school bus drivers, bread vendors, and daily workers.

Abu-Assad curses the revolution, revolutionaries, and the whole life. Abu Amer, is another trader who lost his goods and his money, casted his anger on an aid worker who asked him to donate money for fund raising project. Abu Amer gave the worker dirty look filled with hatred, saying: “I left everything I had in Darya to see you here in front of my door with this box of food supplies… to hell with you and your revolution”.

Translated by: Ruba Al Jarf

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