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Amid Rubble and Ruin, Syrians in War-Scarred Douma Break Ramadan Fast

Image: People wait for Iftar, evening meal at the end of daily Ramadan fast at sunset, next to rubble and destroyed houses in Douma
Residents wait for the Iftar meal at the end of daily Ramadan fast next to rubble and destroyed houses in Douma, Syria on June 17, 2017. Mohammed Badra / EPA

Residents of the besieged Syrian town of Douma gathered outside over the weekend to break their Ramadan fast around colorful tables — amid rubble-strewn streets and bombed-out buildings.

Image: Residents of the rebel-held town of Douma break their fast
Residents break their fast on a heavily damaged street in Douma on June 18, 2017. Hamza Al-Ajweh / AFP - Getty Images

The evening meal held at the end of each day's Ramadan fast at sunset, Iftar, was organized by the Adaleh Foundation, a Syrian humanitarian organization created in 2012 to assist Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold to the east of the capital Damascus.

"We would have normally been cautious to host such events due to air strikes, but we are taking advantage of the latest de-escalation deal," an official from the foundation's Turkey office told the BBC.

Image: People break their fast amidst damaged buildings during an Iftar in the rebel held besieged Douma neighbourhood of Damascus
Residents break their fast in Douma on June 18. Bassam Khabieh / Reuters

In early May, the International Committee of the Red Cross, along with the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, said it went into Douma, the main urban center of the Eastern Ghouta, with 51 trucks loaded with food and medical supplies for 35,000 people.

Image: Children sit at a table as they wait the evening meal at the end of daily Ramadan fast at sunset
Children sit at a table as they wait for the evening meal next to rubble and destroyed houses in Douma on June 17, 2017 Mohamed Badra / EPA

On April 3, Syrian jets bombed residential areas in the eastern countryside of Damascus killing and injuring dozens in some of the heaviest bombing raids on the main rebel enclave near the capital in months, residents and activists said. At least 22 people were killed and scores injured after four aerial raids hit a crowded district in Douma.