Damascus, Syria: Invisibles in Hajar al Aswad

Before the outbreak of this war and until March 2012, Armadilla operated with a center aimed at such purpose alongside the ZAM association, Zahret al Madayen, in a marginalized neighborhood in southern Damascus, beyond the Yarmuk refugee camp.

This area is called Al Hajar Al Aswad, “the black stone” and before 2012, 370 thousand people lived here. Even before the war, Hajar al Aswad was one of the city’s poorest areas, and together with the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk, there were 500,000 people in dire need. The Armadilla workers have had the opportunity to film and shoot these exclusive images in the neighborhood where once the ZAM center was located. Since the end of 2012, the area has been occupied first by Al-Qaeda groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, then by Jaysh al-Islam, and since 2014 by Daesh, leading to its complete destruction.

According to official data, the 500,000 people who lived here have disappeared into thin air.

But it’s hard to believe that they left the country or fled to other parts of Syria. Here are the numbers: before the war, Great Damascus, including the rural area, had about 3.5 million inhabitants. However, after 10 years of war, official United Nations figures say that at least 10 million people have flocked to this area. Thanks to a constant “diplomatic antenna”, Italy is operational with humanitarian aid in the Damascus area and the surrounding countryside. Yet, the position of the major donors, the European Union being the foremost, seems to state that all those who remained here are supporting the government.

For Armadilla, this choice is nothing more than a political position, which does not put the real needs of the population which has been the victim of this war at the center of the humanitarian action.

The worst humanitarian crisis of the century affects everyone, especially those who have become even more invisible. The effort of everyone is needed so that no one is left alone.SHOW LESS

Your 5 x mille can help peace process and humanitarian aid in Syria