April 2, 2023

Volunteers have come from throughout Jandaris, Syria, to assist bury the lots of of lifeless after the earthquakes.

Jandaris, Syria – A whole bunch of males had been transferring round in an open area in Jandaris, northwestern Syria. They appeared laborious at work, lifting, calling out to one another, and carrying issues round.

Upon nearer inspection, the grim actuality was revealed: The sphere was a cemetery which had not been a lot in use earlier than the devastating earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and northwestern Syria on February 6.

Now, it had turn out to be the location of mass graves, lengthy trenches dug to inter lots of of people that died within the quakes and their aftermath.

Males had been dashing forwards and backwards, unloading our bodies wrapped in shrouds or physique baggage from vans and passing them to others who had been digging trenches sufficiently big to accommodate 100 to 130 folks a day.

Jihad al-Ibrahimi pauses work in the cemetery
Al-Ibrahimi and his household had been already internally displaced, so the earthquakes didn’t injury their tents. [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

Some our bodies needed to be lifted and carried by two males. Many others had been tiny, clutched within the arms of males with shock written throughout their faces as they carried the infants over to the trenches.

Jihad Ahmed al-Ibrahimi, 21, was gathering cement breezeblocks, bringing them for use to line the trenches. The our bodies are laid on prime of the breezeblocks, after which marble slabs are laid over prime of the our bodies earlier than the trenches are crammed in.

He had been coming day-after-day, to volunteer to assist with the burials.

Men handing down the shrouded bodies of babies or small children to be buried in the mass grave
Handing the our bodies right down to the volunteers standing within the trench [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

“I reside within the camps in Aazaz, me and my household are displaced,” he instructed Al Jazeera, including that as a result of he and his household already lived in tents, they didn’t undergo a lot earthquake injury.

“However to be sincere, we had been scared, it was horrifying. Then we began pondering how way more horrifying it will have been for the individuals who reside within the cities. And we began to fret about our folks within the cities as a result of we knew that was the place a lot of the injury could be.

“We heard that the worst injury was in Jandaris, so, me and about 30 or 40 different males come out right here each morning to volunteer and assist the folks right here bury their lifeless right here on this cemetery.”

gravediggers
The trenches are lined with breezeblock and marble slabs are laid over prime of the our bodies [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

Al-Ibrahimi mentioned the lads use their very own automobiles to make the 40km (25 miles) journey to Jandaris within the morning and again once more to Aazaz at night time, not a simple activity in a area the place 12 years of battle have decimated infrastructure and assets, a scenario solely made worse by the earthquakes.

The lifeless folks’s names are documented, as a lot as potential, and small markers are erected close to the graves to point out the names of these buried there.

“We bury our bodies and carry out the funeral prayers for the lifeless,” al-Ibrahimi mentioned. “We’re not right here to receives a commission or something, we’re doing this for God.

“I am so very grateful that the majority of my household and shut ones, we had been all already displaced and dwelling within the tent camps. However we’re right here, doing this work as a result of these individuals who died listed here are our households too, that is what made us come out right here to assist.”

gravediggers filling in the trench
The volunteer gravediggers begin filling within the mass grave [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

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