Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Will Finland's eurosceptic party enter government?

Read more

FOCUS

The health risk behind Argentina's soya paradise

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Top Burundian judge flees country after government pressure

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'60% of British citizens want voting reform'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Swedish FM: ‘Diplomacy today is about courage and patience’

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Women journalists to male politicians: Hands off!

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's billion-euro private beach industry

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

UN denies claims it tried to cover up sex abuse in Central African Republic

Read more

DEBATE

François of Arabia: Hollande's Budding Friendship with the Gulf (part 2)

Read more

Middle east

EXCLUSIVE: Daily life in war-torn Damascus

© FRANCE 24

Video by Antoine MARIOTTI , Patrick Hermansen

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-25

Despite the constant threat of bombings, some residents of the Syrian capital are intent on leading as normal a life as possible. In this exclusive report, FRANCE 24 meets a number of Syrians trying to go about their daily lives.

Fighting between government and rebel forces has intensified in and around Damascus in recent days.

Yet in the government-held neighbourhoods of the Syrian capital, only birds and visitors jump at the sound of bombings and artillery fire.

These areas have been spared from direct fighting, but their inhabitants live with the constant sound of detonations.

Anas is one of the residents who have become used to it. “It’s just a normal feeling, after two years. We want to keep on living. Anywhere, you can have a bomb,” he says.

Unlike Anas, his two nephews who came from Germany to spend their holidays in Damascus still have a hard time adjusting.

“When you have a big bomb, the big sound scares them a bit... but this is life!,” Anas laughs.

Rockets shot from rebel districts

In the nearby Christian district of the old town, four rockets shot from the rebel districts fell on one street in 48 hours.

One of them hit the church and a woman died in the explosion.

“I live in a hotel nearby, and all of a sudden, I heard a woman shouting, then a lot of screaming,” a neighbour said. “I went out and I saw it was a rocket."

Further down the street, an elderly man called Jerjess likes to sit in a fold-up chair in front of his shop. That’s where he was when a rocket landed across the street.

"The wall up there fell, it left a hole on the roof,” he says, gesturing towards the top floor of the opposite building. The stone is pocked with shrapnel holes. “I hope our government will defeat these evil men, these criminals, these terrorists who strike down the civilians," he adds.

Jerjess came back to his shop -- and his daily life -- in a matter of hours. Like many of the people who did not flee the city, he refuses to give way to fear when clouds of smoke darken the sky over Damascus.

Date created : 2013-08-25

  • USA - SYRIA

    Obama, Cameron threaten 'serious response' in Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    MSF says hundreds dead in Syria chemical attack

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Number of children fleeing Syria hits one million

    Read more

COMMENT(S)