Downbeat and pessmistic – not only because of the shells falling around their neighborhoods – Damascenes are also bemoaning the severe rise in prices of food and basic goods.
The intensification of the conflict in Syria means very few wealthy people are left in Syria,with most who have the option choosing to flee to neighboring counties.
The majority that remain in Damascus and other provinces belong to the poorest classes, dependent on relief and charity.
They are tired of the protracted war in Syria, which has consumed their entire savings in the face of extraordinary and price rises without any apparent state price controls.
The controls that are in place do not appear to extend beyond the state employees' offices – and they do not dare to come out of their offices due to growing lawlessness.
Residents are now at the mercy of traders and little warmongers who are without any moral scruples.
Despite the official stabilization of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound between 200 and 210 to the dollar, the price of all food items continue to rise without any explanation. Meanwhile employees' salaries are barely enough for ten days.
The specter of hunger has become a reality for the Damascus population, indeed across Syrian governorates, especially those besieged by government forces.
For example, the price of a falafel sandwich is 75 SP, a grilled chicken, which sold for 800 SP just two months ago, is now 1300 SP, and raw chicken is 600 SP. A kilo of veal is 1700 SP, while a kilo of lamb costss 2500 SP.
Even the price of potato – the food of the poor – has increased to 130 SP per kilo, while tomatoes are 80 SP a kilo.Onions have risen to 50 SP a kilo and beans are now 350 SP. A kilo of eggplant is 110 SP,cucumbers 160 SP and a bag of bread ranges between 50 and 75 SP, despite the fact that at a bakery the price is no more than 15 SP, but it is almost impossible to get a bag without waiting for hours.
Rice has reached 190 SP, bulgur 175 SP and lentils to 175 SP.
A liter of diesel fuel now stands at 90 SP while the price at the gas station doesn’t exceed 65 SP.
So on for the rest of the prices. Residents say they can no longer bear the brunt of this ongoing conflict.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer