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Parks of Damascus, a Last Refuge for the Capital’s Homeless

Alsouria Net describes the arrest of an academic forced to seek shelter in Damascus' public spaces
Parks of Damascus, a Last Refuge for the Capital’s Homeless

Local newspapers quoted the “Police” (Al-Shurta) Facebook page, administered by Assad regime government volunteers, as saying that Damascus authorities picked up a woman in her 50s known as “A-N” while working to eliminate begging and homelessness in the capital.

According to the page, after investigating the woman it became clear that she was a doctor at the University of Aleppo.

The woman in question had taught university students for 16 years, but with the start of the war in Syria in 2011 her economic situation declined, which led to her being kicked out of her house in Aleppo. It was not clear from the post who carried out the eviction.

Following this, the woman traveled to Damascus to ask the Ministry of Higher Education about why her salary was stopped. After a number of attempts she did not receive an answer. Because she had used up all her money, she was expelled from a hotel by its owner, turning the parks into her shelter for a number of years.

While searching her, hundreds of papers were found in her possession on which were written the names of people from whom she had borrowed small amounts of money, such as 200 Syria pounds, or a little less, as well as the names of restaurants that had given her food without payment.

When asked, the woman said she was not a beggar saying: "I am a doctor, and I’ve noted all my debts on these papers."

The parks of Damascus are crowded with homeless people whose homes have been destroyed by the war and have not found any shelter to protect them, meanwhile the regime government is still yet to secure a place for them to enjoy their dignity.

The Police page deleted the post after it was published in the evening and local pages quoting the story.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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