The family of Abou Ahmed - a family plagued by deplacements
The family of Abou Ahmed is living under very difficult conditions which resemble that of bedouins. They were originally from Quoneitra, a town in the Golan Heights occupied by the Israeli Army since 1967.
After 1967 the family was forced to move from Quoneitra to Chabaa, near Damascus. Abou Ahmed became a janitor at a public school. He married and had 10 children, nearly all of whom today are unemployed; only two finished school. The son Bassel, 10 years old, worked in a joinery workshop for a meagre wage. His oldest son, Ahmed, has been reported missing since the beginning of his military service in Idleb. No information at all has been provided to the family.
Before the war, the family of Abou Ahmed was quite poor but led a relatively quiet life. Since then, armed rebels infiltrated Chabaa. There were some violent confrontations between the Syrian Army and the Rebels. Abou Ahmed and his family had to flee once again. They left Chabaa on foot, leaving all their belongings behind in the ruins of their home which was destroyed in the bombings.
The family settled in Mleha, a region near Chabaa. Due to the rising rents, Abou Ahmed and family had not been able to rent an apartment. They had to make do with a small room lent to them in a chocolate factory where one of the sons worked.
But the situation in Chabaa rapidly deteriorated. They awoke to the cries of neighbourhood residents - some skirmishes and confrontations had just broken out between the Syrian Army and the Rebels. Under fire and amongst dead bodies which had been thrown into the streets, the Abou Ahmed family had to flee to Douel'a, a region still spared from the conflict. At Douel'a, a friend of the family agreed to lend them an apartment but it was so small that they decided to leave the town to settle in Jaramana, a suburb of Damascus. There they are renting a small room in a damp basement, where they eat, sleep and receive visitors.