The green shoots of normal life return to northern Syria

Having visited parts of northern Syria since 2018, Borzou Daragahi has witnessed a growth in activity, population, and serenity for a people who have suffered one of the most brutal wars in recent history

Monday 20 June 2022 14:08 BST
March 2022 – a view from the market place in central Idlib city
March 2022 – a view from the market place in central Idlib city (Yusuf Sayman for the Independent)

The earth-shaking thuds of the bombs have largely subsided. On the streets of the ramshackle city of Idlib and in its outlying areas, there is instead a cacophony of hammers. They tak-tak-tak away on new buildings rising up from the rubble, and on new roads and pavements being built to accommodate the swelling population.

At a brand new American-funded maternity hospital in the centre of the city, newborns rest in state-of-the-art incubators in the neonatal intensive unit care, nurses in gleaming uniforms gently taking care of them. The facility was opened in February.

“It’s much better now,” says Dr Najwa Khuzeirah, the 39-year-old obstetrician overseeing the shift. “The difference now is that there is more security and safety, and we can make a better life for the babies.”

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