Posted by on March 16, 2021 2:00 am
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Categories: µ Newsjones

In a town under siege from Assad’s regime, a small group of revolutionaries found a new mission: to build a library from books rescued from the rubble. For those stranded in the city, books offered an imaginative escape from the horrors of war

At first, Ahmad Muaddamani was a distant voice coming through my computer speakers: a fragile whisper from a hidden basement. When I made contact with him on Skype, on 15 October 2015, he hadn’t left Darayya in nearly three years. Located less than five miles from Damascus, his town was a sarcophagus, surrounded and starved by the regime. He was one of 12,000 survivors.

They had been under fire from Bashar al-Assad’s rockets, barrel bombs and even a chemical weapon attack for many months. Syria’s president had besieged the town since November 2012. Like many others, Muaddamani’s family had packed their suitcases and escaped to a neighbouring town. They begged him to follow. He refused – this was his revolution, his generation’s revolution.

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