“Life in Syria is not as it was before, but we are trying to survive”, says Mousa, a 70-year-old and a father of three who fled with his family when clashes spilled into their neighborhood in Al-Husseiniya in 2011. Al Husseiniya is a town located off the highway to the international airport about 15 km east of Damascus.
Mousa returned to his home in Al-Husseiniya couple of days ago. He bought some fruits and vegetables and now is trying to start his own business in his shop. Oranges, apples, carrots, and parsley colors brighten Mousa’s shop in the small souq among the collapsed buildings.
On the surface, life in Al-Husseiniya seems to be continuing normally, the streets are full of women, men, and children. Local workers and builders are busy restoring homes and workshops.
Clashes continued in this town for more than four years, the last wave of displacement from Al-Husseiniya took place in December 2012. Since last August, 2015 residents of the area started returning to their homes gradually.
Up till now, 9300 families around 50,000 individuals returned to Al-Husseiniya. Before the crisis, Al-Husseiniya is host to many Palestinian refugees who made up 45 per cent of the town’s population of 100,000. UNHCR teams right now are conducting field visits to the area in order to attest the humanitarian situation on the ground and provide aid to people in need accordingly.