The Greed Merchants Allied with MiGs in the Elimination of Syrians

The Greed Merchants Allied with MiGs in the Elimination of Syrians
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Hadia Mansour


Mahmoud, twenty-four years old, entered the hospital in a deplorable condition, suffering from dizziness, nausea and digestive and intestinal disorders. After an hour spent in the intensive care unit he came out on a stretcher. Dr. Ali, thirty years old, a specialist in digestive diseases, speaks about Mahmoud’s health to Suwar magazine, saying, "It seems that he ingested unhealthy or expired food, exposing him to dangerous poisoning, however we were able to avoid complications by gastric lavage and injected him with an anti-poison serum."


Dr. Ali explains that these cases have spread in recent times largely as a result of the absence of health control of foods and foodstuffs.


Mahmoud’s case is similar to the case of many Syrians who have become susceptible to diseases as a result of the greed of traders and a lack of conscience. Traders distribute high quantities of expired food in the Syrian market, taking advantage of the absence of control and seeking to increase their wealth at the expense of people's health and lives.



Mahmoud says, "I used to buy imported meat because Turkish meat is less expensive than the price of local meat, which has risen exponentially in the shadow of war. On the other hand, my financial situation is not good and I could rarely find a job.” Mahmoud praised God because his son and his wife did not eat the meat as well, otherwise the results would be disastrous for the family.


Abu Osama, forty-eight, a seller of Turkish imported meat in Kafranbel in the southern countryside of Idlib, says, "The truth is that I’m working in this type of trade due to the demand for meat. Every time I try to look at the production date, shelf life and expiration date, seeking to buy the best meat for the sake of the health of the citizens, and also to preserve my reputation and business." Abu Osama explains that he usually freezes the meat so it does not spoil. If there was expired meat, this matter would not be his fault, but a mistake of traders who sell it to him, he adds.


Abu Mohammed, forty years old and a member of the Kafranbel local council, says, "The greed of traders has increased in the shadow of war, and they began entering the country, all food and meat rotten, especially in opposition-controlled areas, which are devoid of deterrent laws for trade." Abu Mohammed confirms that the ruling groups in the opposition-controlled areas of Al-Nusra Front and all revolutionary factions are more concerned with the fronts, battles, liberation barriers and their desire to overthrow the regime. Local matters are neglected, despite their importance and necessity, which inevitably increases the boldness of traders and their tampering with people's health.

Um Wael, thirty-eight years old and a widow who lost her husband in the war and became the breadwinner for her four children, says about her experience, "Our material situation is deteriorating, and we are barely able to secure what we need to stay alive. As for the meat, it is known they are among the most expensive types of foods in our region. When my kids asked me to buy them meat I tried to convince them to postpone this project until I could secure a price, and when I could save some money I bought Turkish meat due to the cheap price."


She goes on to say that on June 24, 2015 the unthinkable happened; she and her children were poisoned because of eating meat. Were it not for an ambulance to a field hospital treating them, she does not know what would have saved her and her children. She expresses that now she is ready to live her entire life vegetarian instead of buying imported meat and repeat what happened to her. Um Wael reflects her anger by saying, "I hope that these unscrupulous, irresponsible traders spend their earnings on their health, and may God affect them with disease just as people suffer because of their greed."


On the other hand, Ghalib Ibrahim, forty-eight years old and one of the traders in Kafranbel says, "It is true that I brought Turkish frozen meat and I distributed to stores and sold it, yet it is with good specifications, as I am sure of that through the expiration date. If there was any spoiled meat, it is because of the seller who does not store and freeze well. "


Salem Al-Shaker, one of the housewares traders, confirms that traders buy meat that is stored for a long time, so it is sold in Turkey at low prices because they want to get rid of it immediately. The Turkish state does not underestimate the issue of selling spoiled meat within Turkey, because there is oversight on this subject and strict penalties for violators.


Therefore, Syrian traders hastily buy it at the cheapest prices, and sometimes they change the printed expiration on the meat so that someone buying it will think it is fresh and good while it is actually spoiled. Al-Shaker expresses regret, saying, "Always the Syrian citizen is the victim. As if regime forces bombarding day and night is not enough, people are becoming susceptible to diseases because of the greed of merchants, too.”


The doctor Hossam Al-Jendi, fifty-eight years old and the head of Al-Shefaa Field Hospital in Maaret al-Numan, says, "The proportion of digestive and intestinal diseases has risen dramatically in recent times. The cases that reach us most often are poisoning cases, intestinal inflammation, gastric ulcers, inflammation of the colon, water bags on the uterus, in addition to most dangerous cancers that have spread significantly and in an unprecedented fashion.”


Dr. Al-Jendi attributes these illnesses to the absence of health controls and the spread of pollution everywhere, coupled with increased profiteering of traders who are not interested in the health of citizens. The number of people affected as a result of food has reached about 200 thousand cases at the level of the province of Idlib and its countryside during this year.


He continues, warning, "Each person must be careful buying food, and avoid imported food, especially meat because meats are the most susceptible to bacterial pathogens and viruses." The best way, according to Dr. Al-Jendi, to determine the quality of the meat is from its smell, as rotten meat will smell of spoil. Even if the smell is faint, he warns people not to buy or eat it.


He concludes by saying, "Syrians are exposed today to a war of annihilation of all aspects of political, military, developmental, health and psychological life. They should all pay attention and take caution. In this time, a Syrian alone is responsible for his health and safety and the safety of his family until, God willing, we find a way out of the current crisis.”



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