I would like to share with you, a story told to myself and Anas Chamieh on our last night in Damascus. We took a taxi back to the hotel. The driver was an elderly man, tiny boned and fragile. He was clearly agitated and told Anas his story which was then translated to me. The windscreen of his taxi was the usual spider web of cracks, the passenger front door didnt shut properly.
He told us that just two hours earlier he had been held at gunpoint in a suburb of Damascus. The three men had held a gun to his stomach and they told him it had a silencer so nobody would know if they killed him. They stole 7000 Syrian Pounds ( around $14). They beat him with the butt of the gun and broke the door to his taxi before they left him. It is not his car, he picks it up every day from the owner to do his work. He had a beautiful four storey house in Hajjar Aswad which was destroyed by the armed groups that occupied the area. He is 70 years old with prostrate cancer but none of this mattered to his tormenters.
As he spoke to us, the tears welled in his eyes and he splashed water on his face and dried it with his hands. "They even took my medicine for cancer" he told us, despair deepening his shocked expression.
"May God never forgive the people who brought this evil to our country. " he told us. "They have tried to destroy our society and they have left their residue of criminal elements that never existed before this war. May they never be forgiven".