Biography of a City: Harasta

Location

Harasta is located east Damascus (Syrian capital), at the Damascus – Homs international road, the road splits the city into eastern and western parts, the eastern part is under siege by the Syrian regime forces.

  • Area: 25 sq. KM
  • Population pre-siege: 350 thousand
  • Population after siege: 10 thousand

The city had large agricultural areas, so it was famous for agriculture in general and olive cultivation in particular. The city is diverse in terms of population and religion, it includes original residents, people coming from Damascus, Muslims, and Christians.

The city during revolution

The residents of Harasta participated in the Syrian Revolution since the beginning of the massive demonstrations in its squares. The first martyr of the city fell in April 2011.

The city was known for its peaceful status as a point of contact between the towns of Eastern Ghouta where they met demonstrations from all neighboring towns in the squares of Harasta.

In mid-2012, the city witnessed the formation of the first local service council in the countryside of Damascus. It was then headed by Mahmoud Mdallal, who later became a symbol of civil activity in Harasta.

Martyrs of the city

Mahmoud Mdallal: The civil, political and legal activist, who inspired most of the city’s youth, died as a result of a raid on the eastern Ghouta.

Mahmoud Mdallal
Mahmoud Mdallal

Ayman Dahdouh: an activist in the Syrian revolution, he was known for his nice singing voice in the times of peaceful demonstrations in the city.

Anas Al Batch: a peaceful and civil activist, was arrested by Syrian regime’s forces, he spent 9 months in the prison, before going out, and getting shot by the Syrian regime’s forces, that resulted of his death.

Anas Al Batch
Anas Al Batch

The city today

The city of Harasta is facing very difficult conditions currently. Like the eastern towns of #Ghouta, it suffers from a suffocating siege imposed by the Syrian regime. Most of its residents live in underground shelters due to the heavy shelling on the city.