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.”