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In Idlib, Syrians find solace in soccer

With the Syrian war surrounding Idlib, the General Commission for Youth and Sports is organizing soccer and other sports leagues as a way to create some air of normalcy in opposition-held areas.
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GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Even as war looms all around them, young Syrians in areas outside the regime's control are able to participate in athletic competitions thanks to civil society sectors of the Syrian revolution.

“We are now in the second week of the first- and second-division [soccer] competitions. All the teams are wearing the flag of the Syrian revolution on their shirts and playing under the name of the Syrian Football [Soccer] Federation," Nader al-Atrash, federation vice president, told Al-Monitor via Skype from the Idlib area.

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