The images of destroyed homes — those shelled with several different kinds of destructive weapons — come in second place after the tragic daily scenes of martyrs and detainees.
The houses are abandoned, and the walls cry tears and memories. The frames of the pictures are broken and covered with dust. The furniture has often been stolen and the floor is bloody. What remains appears a symbol of an eternal goodbye.
Just a few years ago, it was a dream to own a house on the Syrian soil. The young men worked abroad to save enough money to be able to buy a small house, a house to be filled with the laughs of future children.
With the outbreak of the revolution, the regime started destroying the dreams of the Syrian people, not only their dreams of freedom and dignity, but also the dream of a dignified life.
Displacement was the destiny for most of them, and having to rent a house in a new city became a new kind of dream, tainted by many hardships. Then came the camps' tents, a place that can never be described as a house, anyway.
The Syrian children lost their houses, they lost the warmth and peacefulness associated with a home, and when sleep eventually comes to them now, after the daily sufferings of homelessness and cold, nightmares wake them up and the wind threatens to unearth their tents.
Statistics from the United Nations, taken from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, indicate that about 1.5 million houses have been destroyed in Syria. This includes 315,000 houses which have been totally destroyed and 300,000 partially destroyed, in addition to the destruction of infrastructure (such as water, electricity and sanitation). The recent study showed that about 7 million people have been affected by this destruction, including 3 million who have been displaced and 1 million who have lost all of their property.
Here is a list of Syrian governorates according to the number of destroyed houses and the cost of rebuilding them:
1-Aleppo: 424,000 houses — 187 billion Syrian liras.
2-Damascus suburbs: 303,000 houses- 145 billion Syrian liras.
3-Homs: 200,000 houses- 97 billion Syrian liras.
4-Idlib: 156,000 houses- 57 billion Syrian liras.
5-Deraa: 105,000 houses- 46 billion Syrian liras.
6-Deir az-Zor: 82,000 houses- 37 billion Syrian liras.
7-Hama: 78,000 houses- 32 billion Syrian liras.
8-Raqqa: 59,000 houses- 21 billion Syrian liras.
9-Lattakia: 57.000 houses- 25 billion Syrian liras.
10-Hasaka: 56,000 houses- 20 billion Syrian liras.
11-Damascus: 37,000 houses- 17 billion Syrian liras.
12-Tartous: 12,000 houses- 6 billion Syrian liras.
13-Sweida: 5,000 houses- 2.5 billion Syrian liras.
14-Qunaitra: 900 houses- 300 million Syrian liras.
The total cost of rebuilding the houses is 700 billion Syrian liras. This is not just a number, and it will never be. In each of these liras, there is a story of pain and suffering, and between the stones of these houses, there is a dream.
Syrians might have to suffer more until this massacre stops, this war against not only against people, but also against stones and trees.
The dream Syrians built and named "Syria" remains a beautiful country, and only Syrians can rebuild it to become a more beautiful state. They have now paid blood instead of money to build their homes, and God gave it to them as a gift.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer