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‘It’s like hell’: Winnipeggers watch as family and friends struggle back home in Aleppo

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‘It’s like hell’: Winnipeggers watch as family and friends struggle back home in Aleppo – Dec 14, 2016

WINNIPEG — Winnipeg families cling to hope that loved ones left behind in Aleppo survive the siege.

Once described as the jewel of Syria, Aleppo now crumbles before the eyes of all that watch.

Once home to over two million people, now it’s a population that’s dwindling daily due to war and political turmoil.

RELATED: What if the fighting in Aleppo was happening in Toronto?

For the lucky ones that escaped, it’s an emotional struggle to watch their home and loved ones crumble with the collapsing regime.

“My country was like heaven, was like paradise. But, now there is nothing there. It’s like hell,” said Abu Abdo through a translator.

RELATED: How Canadians can help people in Aleppo

Abdo and his family escaped Aleppo last March. But, he said his heart still remains there as he watches friends and family struggle to find food and to stay alive.

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Abu Abdo watches the latest news on Aleppo, as he sits with his family in Winnipeg. Zahra Premji/Global News

“We just sit at home and feel nothing and we just cry,” said Um Abdo, Abu’s wife.

For the Aljaber family, they too left the bombs and war to start a new life in Winnipeg. But, with their paradise crumbling as they watch from a distance, they said their hearts are still at home.

RELATED: ‘The situation with Aleppo is now terrible’: Leader of Syrian rescue group urges action

“We see children, women on street[s], dead bodies, blood everywhere. I’m sad for all of them,” said Ismail Aljaber.

He said he recently saw photos of his home, or where it used to be.

“I saw my house back in Aleppo was completely destroyed. I couldn’t recognize it,” said Aljaber.

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As the Syrian community that fled Aleppo continues to watch from a distance, they said nothing beyond prayers will be able to reach their family and friends.

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