Stories written by Shelly Kittleson

Geographical Divide in Maternal Health for Syrian Refugees

At the largest refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, young Syrian mothers and pregnant women are considered relatively lucky.

No Easy Choices for Syrians with Small Children

The woman who walked into the Islamic Front (IF) media office near the Turkish border was on the verge of fainting under the hot Syrian sun, but all she cared about was her infant son.

TNT and Scrap Metal Eviscerate Syria’s Industrial Capital

Numerous mechanics, tyre and car body shops used to line the busy streets near the Old City of Syria’s previous industrial and commercial hub.

Trauma Kits and Body Bags Now Fill Aleppo School

Volunteer civil defence units operating here in Syria’s largest city careen through crater-pocked routes of precariously hanging, pancaked concrete where barrel bombs have struck.

Aleppo Struggles to Provide for Basic Needs as Regime Closes In

The single, heavily damaged supply road remaining into the rebel-held, eastern area of the city is acutely exposed to enemy fire.

Hezbollah Tacitly Accepted for the Sake of Lebanese Stability

Concerns about supporting a national army collaborating with a ‘terrorist organisation’ in Lebanon have in recent times been superseded by threats inherent in growing regional conflict.

Politics Complicates Education in Lebanon’s Refugee Camps

The Shatila Palestinian camp has no library, nor does adjacent Sabra or Ain El-Hilweh in the south. And, after recent statements by Lebanon’s foreign minister, some fear that the thousands of Syrian refugee children within them will soon have even slimmer chances of learning to read and write.

Malnutrition Hits Syrians Hard as UN Authorises Cross-Border Access

Gaunt, haggard Syrian children begging and selling gum have become a fixture in streets of the Lebanese capital; having fled the ongoing conflict, they continue to be stalked by its effects.

Syrian Rebel-held Mountain Villages Preparing for Bigger Battles

In the mountains east of the coastal port of government-held Latakia, three years of regime bombardment has left swaths of blackened stumps in the mountain forests and crumbling concrete structures in Sunni villages, most of whose inhabitants support opposition forces.

Syrian Doctors Grapple With Medical Emergency and Ethics

As once-eliminated diseases resurface and barrel bombs and alleged chlorine attacks target civilians, doctors in rebel-held areas and across the border struggle with issues of how best to serve their profession.

Egypt’s Generals Face a Watery Battle

Heavy reliance on water intensive crops, a major upstream dam project for the Nile basin, and rising groundwater levels pushing at pharaoh-era monuments will be pressing issues for the next Egyptian president - whether military or civilian.

Syrian Spillover Deepens Lebanese Divide

In northern Lebanon’s largest city, Tripoli, Syria Street cuts through neighbourhoods that back opposite sides of the war raging in Syria, 30 km away. Clashes between them resumed this weekend after a cross-border rocket attack.

Fears Rise of ‘Taliban-Style’ Justice in Syria

Concerns are rising that courts run by Islamic clerics in many of Syria’s rebel-held areas may serve as a prelude to Taliban-style justice in what was long a violently repressive but secular state.

Syrians Struggle with a Life of Sorts

Free Syrian Army fighters stand guard over the state cable company premises to avoid looting in Khan Al-Assal, a district 14 kilometres west of Aleppo. Much of the rest of the place seems a nightmarish ghost town.

‘Interrogating’ an Assad Militiaman

The prisoner is led, handcuffed and dirty, into what until last year served as a school. “A shabiha,” said one of the anti-regime rebels in the room. “We found him two days ago at a checkpoint.”

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