The ancient ruins resimulate the displaced in Syria

The ancient ruins resimulate the displaced in Syria ...

IDLIB PROVINCE, Syria, Dec. 22, 2013 - Mohamad Othman remembers a school trip to ancient archaeological sites in Syria, never seeing his house become his home.

Othman and his family have lived in a tent near the Turkish border since they fled last year during a rebel in northwestern Syria.

(Open to see pictures from the scene).

The rocks left bury their tent, one of several dozen that shelters families who fled their homes during the Syrian war.

Their clothes sangle to dry on one-to-one lines tracing the tent from an ancient stone portico. Their children clamber over the rocks and balance the walls in this dangerous, dangerous playground.

"In the summer we face scorpions, snakes and dust, and all the suffering of life, and in the winter the cold. The situation is desperate. There aren't any other health services," said Othman, 30.

He said shelling forced them to flee their village near Maarat al-Numan, an area near the frontline between government and rebel forces that was pummelled in several conflicts during the decade-long war.

He is a four-year-old girl, which struggles to earn an income if he decides to do seasonal work like olive picking and other work that he can pick up. When there is no work, he is required to pay the basic cost. His children don't go to school.

In the fall of the year that ended in attack on the bombardment and explosion, we left to come here, says Othman. "Never, we'd find a place for shelter, we lived here among the ruins."

This site, a historical Christian settlement that dates back to the 5th century, was popularized by the displaced because they don't have to pay for their stay, unlike other landowners paying rent.

"Everyone here had land we would grow and we had livelihoods in our villages, but we wouldn't need anyone," said Othman.

Without our own consent, we wouldn't leave our land into an area of unknown origin for thousands of years.

There are some 2.8 million people who have been displaced in the northwestern of Syria, and 1.7 million those are in a place for the internally displaced, explains the United Nations.

Apart from Sarjableh in one corner of the northwestern province of Idlib, Babisqa is a nearby refuge for the bombers.

During an earlier phase of the war, rebels used the site to rehearse from ancient caves, which were hewn from the rock where it remains to be seen for the whole war.

In the 80 or so families living there, it is known as a 'Kharrab camp' or 'Ruins camp'.

With the help of livestock farmers, they seized their sheep and goats when they fled from the rebel-held territory of now under Syrian control. The sheep and goats feed in ancient stone feeds, with the chicken laying on the ground.

Some people used the rocks from the ruins to build their shelters, some of which are equipped with small solar panels leading to the outside. An antennae in front of one of the homes provides internet.

A 35-year-old father of 7 lives in the ancient cave hewn out of the rock. He has his sheep in a pen under the rock.

"To be displaced, we had a farm land and imported a crop and lived away and everything was great, and we had animals," he said.

"The kids live in the caves, the farmer says." "The situation is a lot of desperation, he says.

Our one demand is to return to our villages.

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