19 July, 2014

Syrian diary: Life in Aleppo | The Economist

Syrian diary: Life in Aleppo | The Economist: Bringing myself back to today, I make my coffee while reading Facebook to see what damage last night’s bombings caused. I am lucky to have the money to pay for a satellite internet connection. This is the only way to get online here in the rebel-held areas of Syria because for almost two years all means of communication have been cut—landlines, the mobile network and the internet—as collective punishment for areas that rebelled against the regime. Fighters and activists use walkie-talkies but as a woman I am not allowed to use one. This area of the city has long been very conservative and women don’t participate in public life; now it is also a frontline in a warzone, even more of a male-only domain.

The electricity is on for around four hours a day, so many people have paid to get an alternative source of power. Local traders invest in huge generators and they distribute electricity to others for a monthly fee. Sometimes the electricity is completely cut off for a week and the generator breaks, like today.