By Light of a Blood Moon, Life Returns to a Bombed-Out Syrian Landscape

Over one doorway from the wall of a destroyed house, the top of a water bottle had been made into a shade for a hanging bulb. A boy emerged into the circle of light, his fists clasped around tiny treasures; he uncurled them to show pumpkin seeds, which he pressed on two strangers, then ran off.

Fluorescent light fizzed along with also lit up the shop of Muhammed Noor, 40, the only place back in business, revealing fruit along with also vegetables, cabbages the size of basketballs as well as sweets, snacks along with also a shelf of light bulbs.

Mr. Noor had been shot three times along with also left for dead when the Islamic State, apparently seeking vengeance for its defeat here, infiltrated squads of fighters behind a few suicide bombers crossing coming from Turkey in June 2015. They marauded from the Museum area, killing 250 civilians who had stayed, including Mr. Noor’s brother, sister-in-law along with also cousin.

After which massacre, the authorities cleared everyone out of This particular area. Six months ago residents began filtering back. Returnees number only a couple of hundred, a fraction of the former population, although only a fraction of homes are even remotely habitable.

Video by Zilan Qandil

Fatma Muhammed, 34, limped outside her lighted doorway on what is actually right now called Serzan Bufa Street — after a martyr of the fight — a few of her nine children, ages 2 to 15, at her skirts. Her husband had been killed in front of her, along with also she was shot so many times which she nearly died, losing a finger along with also the full use of one leg.

“Life is actually hard for us here,” she said.

A block coming from Ms. Muhammed’s house, the entire Armenian Quarter, once a warren of narrow twisting lanes, has been reduced to piles of concrete, no light anywhere, the old lanes filled in by dirt along with also rubble.

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