Rubble and Despair of War Redefine a Syrian Jewel

Aleppo residents, battered by war, struggle to survive.

  1. Inside the classrooms where they once studied, the boys darted like a pack. Their banging and clanking could be heard for a city block.

    The playground outside had been hit by a Syrian Air Force airstrike, which fractured the school’s walls. Now the children were smashing the furniture, prying off wooden desktops and bench seats, rushing away with what they could.

    The Isam al-Nadri School for Boys was being dismantled for the firewood it contained. One sixth grader, Ahmed, clutching the kindling he had made by ransacking a room, offered an irreducible argument for looting his own school. “I want heat,” he said.

    Winter is descending on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the bloodied stage for an urban battle, now running into its sixth month, between rebels and the military of President Bashar al-Assad.

    As temperatures drop and the weakened government’s artillery thunders on, Aleppo is administered by no one and slipping into disaster. Front-line neighborhoods are rubble. Most ...

The complete text of “Rubble and Despair of War Redefine a Syrian Jewel” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.nytimes.com.

Great reading. Anywhere, any time

Subscribe to Byliner to finish this and thousands of other riveting stories for just $5.99 a month. Get started now with a 14 day FREE trial.

Join Today

Already a member? Sign in