A new home for Daraya evacuees

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Residents evacuating from the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya are starting to arrive in a government housing center outside the capital. Nathan Frandino reports.

A new home for Daraya evacuees

The first buses carrying evacuees from Daraya rolled into a government housing facility on Saturday.

Officials here in Herjalleh west of Damascus say they’ve prepared 300 apartments – each to hold 10 to 12 people.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABDULRAHMAN AL-KHATIB, HEAD OF HERJALLEH MUNICIPALITY, SAYING:

“We have all of their needs in order to serve them. The government directed us to serve all of their food, psychological, social and medical needs. Everything is ready.”

Rebels effectively surrendered the town after a grueling four-year siege.

With the evacuation, these residents now join the 11 million people who’ve been displaced in five years of war.

Jumaa Smadi brought his family.

He says living in Daraya became unbearable.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) 60-YEARS-OLD SYRIAN MAN, JUMAA SMADI, SAYING:

“A strong siege, at first we could plant but then we couldn’t. We suffered a lot.”

Suffering that he and many others here hope will end soon.

Tags : Evacuees, Daraya, home

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