Young Syrians Prepare Meals For The Needy In Ramadan
The compound of the ancient Ummayyad mosque in the Old City in Damascus is buzzing with activity during Ramadan.
More than a dozen young Syrians gather at various venues in the Old City every day during the month of fasting to prepare iftar meals, with which people break their daily fast.
The youngsters cook rice, prepare salad and other dishes, and pack them to be given away or for delivery, especially to those struggling to make ends meet.
The amount of food depends on the donations provided by traders and residents of the historic lanes.
Charities said the donations have been increasing every year because the ongoing civil war in the country has disrupted life for many and made millions homeless.
"During this crisis people started to feel for each other. So this is the difference we have made, people wanted to help each other more than before," said Farah al-Khatib from the Saed charity group.
The charities work in cooperation with neighborhood officials and clerics to reach the poorest families in the area.
The meals are then distributed to people in the neighborhoods, shelters and charities.
"We have a logistic team that distributes to people in the streets. Also we have people registered in our papers who come to take their meals and at six o'clock we cook around four pots and the residents of the neighborhood come to take their meals," said volunteer Rana Tabba'.
The five-year-old conflict in the country has killed at least 250,000 people and uprooted millions from their homes.
In 2011, Syria's population numbered just under 22 million people in addition to refugees from different countries. By the beginning of 2016, 4.6 million citizens had fled the country.
Of the remaining, some 13.5 million people need humanitarian assistance. Six million of them are children and 6.5 million are internally displaced.