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Bombs, shells mark Aleppo’s new year

There were no signs of New Year's Eve celebrations in Aleppo’s rebel-held areas, as locals expressed their desire for the war to end.
A man walks through a damaged street beside a frontline in Old Aleppo January 4, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR4K1CI
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ALEPPO, Syria — Syrians awaiting the new year shared their concerns regarding the country’s fate and hope for a silver lining. They wished for the bloodshed, which has been going on since the start of protests demanding change in March 2011, to end.

In front of a patisserie in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, some locals gathered to buy cakes to celebrate the new year. While Yahya Azou was waiting for his order, he told Al-Monitor about his past year. “It was the year of homelessness par excellence. I spent most of the time far from my family and visited them every couple of months after they were displaced to Turkey. I preferred to stay in Aleppo and volunteer in the educational field,” he said, adding: “The family house has turned into a shelter for friends. Tonight, we will celebrate the new year. I honestly don't know what got into me to organize this celebration, but I think it’s a nice occasion to rejoice and enjoy ourselves.”

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