Some sidewalks in Marjeh Square in the capital, Damascus, have been transformed into makeshift hotels, with stalls and cars occupying the space. One individual took advantage of this situation, renting out sections of the sidewalk for various services.
During the closing session of the Damascus Governorate Council, Jalal Qasas, a council member, highlighted the uncivilized practice of people sleeping on the sidewalks and turning them into a combined hotel and restaurant. He revealed that the rental fee for sleeping mattresses was 100,000 Syrian pounds, while a chair and a cup of tea cost 50,000 Syrian pounds.
In response, Iyad al-Shamaa, the head of the Damascus Provincial Council, contested the figures presented by Qasas, stating that the reported rental rates (100,000 per mattress) were exaggerated and did not reflect the actual situation. Shamaa clarified that this phenomenon was an individual endeavour driven by investment motives. The person responsible was promptly identified after the council session, and measures were taken in collaboration with the Damascus Governorate Police Command to deter such practices. Shamaa assured that those involved would be apprehended to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
Malak Hamsho, a member of the Executive Office of the Services and Utilities Sector in Damascus Governorate, informed Athr Press that the presence of stalls constituted a violation, and a daily campaign was underway to remove these unauthorized occupancies. She emphasized that all stall owners, whether existing or removed, would be relocated to interactive squares. Any individual meeting the conditions set by the governorate for market space allocation would be accommodated. In case of specialization preferences and insufficient space, additional interactive squares would be opened to meet the demand.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.