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Life and death in Aleppo, a city under siege

For the past month I haven’t needed to set a morning alarm – the regime jets do that job for me. Every single day we have been woken at 7am by a missile or by a barrel bomb. I can’t tell if there are mortars, because I am so used to the sound of their explosions that they no longer disturb my sleep.
I miss the luxury of waking up slowly, starting the day looking at a picture of my wife and daughter, which I have taped up on the wall. I miss my Zara, who is only six months old, more than anything else, but for now I have to jump out of bed and race to the latest attack site to help with rescue work.

I have become an expert in pulling people out from wreckage, in distinguishing how deeply buried under rubble the screaming victims are, how to spot them in the chaos – they look very much like statues covered in dust. Those tight, shocked hugs that I get from the kids I carry out of the ruins of their homes won’t ever be erased from my memory. Nor can I clean their blood from my T-shirts.
My wife wonders why I buy 10 T-shirts on every trip I make to Turkey. I tell her “I lost the old ones”, so she won’t be frightened. Especially because since she gave birth to Zara my wife has become so sensitive about children.











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