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Necessity as the Mother of Invention

It’s doctors in Syria’s 40 or so besieged towns and urban areas who’ve displayed the greatest flair for innovation. With up to a million people penned into these ghettoized slaughterhouses—largely by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad—they’ve repurposed everything at their disposal, from sewing thread for medical stitches to brooms as makeshift crutches.

“I was the only heart doctor [in the area] so if I someone came to the hospital, I had to be there, and had to find a treatment,” said Dr. Khaleel, a cardiologist who worked through the worst of East Ghouta’s siege and who for safety reasons goes only by his first name. His home district, once part of a lush oasis outside Damascus, was ringed by government troops two years into the war, and subjected to a suffocating siege that endures to this day. “I can say really that for three years, apart from an hour here or there, I didn’t sleep.”

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Image: By Christiaan Triebert – Flickr: Azaz, Syria, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30976487

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