“Love Is”: Five Love Stories from Eastern Ghouta

Five real love stories happened inside Eastern Ghouta. Drawings by artist Dima Nachawi.

We believe no one can besiege our ability to dream and love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, hopefully soon every Syrian will be free from living in fear over their beloved ones.

Love is to challenge distance, siege and fear together

Each night for years, she, besieged in Eastern Ghouta, and He, in Idlib, talk for hours over Whatsapp, drink their coffee and share their favourite poems and music. She prays for his safety and he prays for hers, waiting for the moment they can finally be together and safe.


Love is to smuggle joy for your beloved ones

On her first Christmas in Ghouta, their friends surprised them in the shelter with a smuggled Christmas tree decorated with handmade lights that worked on a generator. They celebrated with her and had the few candies that they could find.


Love is to try your best to protect your loved ones

When he heard the whistle of the missile, without hesitation he covered his pregnant wife’s body with his, so the rubble fall on his back. While medics were trying to rescue him he kept asking them to take care of her first. Later they had a little cute girl and they keep telling her this story as her bedtime story.


Love is to find creative solutions for your partner’s little problems

She loves to play Smurfs and Plants vs Zombies, but due to the siege he has to do a great effort to ensure the generator is able to charge her phone. He moves around on the roof, under the rain, with his creative device looking for internet signal for her so she could play.


Love is to hold your partner close until the last breath

When they heard the first airstrike, he was on his phone trying to reassure his mother-in-law that they are safe. She was doing the laundry. When the airstrikes hit again they ran toward each other and hugged. He was trying to face where he thought the hit was going to be so he would be able to protect her. He got injured trying to save her. But she passed away from the glass that shattered into her body.