This boy says he watched his siblings, grandfather and parents die from Wednesday's attack.
Nuha Shabaan

DAMASCUS - A boy, who appears to be sitting in some sort of makeshift hospital, describes how his entire family was killed early Wednesday morning on an attack in their home in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.

Below the video expand=1] (courtesy of c.m.o algota) is a transcript of the child’s account:

“First thing, my grandfather lives upstairs, and we were asleep. The aircraft hit us and the voices were very loud. We woke up all of us, my brother went upstairs to tell my grandpa to come downstairs to escape from the gunpowder and the shrapnel.

They came down and as my brother was coming down he smelled the gunpowder and started to feel pain in his stomach, he started to throw up and was about to die, he started to have difficulty in breathing and died. They smelled the gunpowder smell and laid down on the ground. My grandpa was sitting in front of us and suddenly he laid down and his head hit the ground and he died, his wife was near him and she rolled on the ground also and died, my siblings also died, I was sitting on the sofa away from them, I stayed there.

Q: What did you do? I do not know, I do not know what brought me here.

Q: You could not do anything? I do not know

Q: Didn’t you scream? I started crying, crying and crying, what brought me here

Q: And you fainted and fell on the ground? NO, I DID NOT, I did not,

Q: And now, where is your mom and dad? They are dead.”


Meanwhile, there is also direct testimony from Um Qamar, 53, a housewife from the conservative eastern suburb of Hammouriya, one of the towns reportedly attacked by chemical weapons in an overnight regime assault on Wednesday.

“Before the revolution, we lived together – me, my husband and our two daughters,” says Um Qamar. “We had a good, simple life.”

Today, she lives in a blockaded village with her daughters staying at a relative’s house in Damascus. They communicate by phone but cannot see each other. Um Qamar describes the chaotic scene in her town to Nuha Shabaan in the hours following the attack.

Q: Describe what happened to you early Wednesday morning.

Around 3am there was violent bombardment around the neighborhood. We did not know where it was exactly. I said to myself that it might be the rebels fighting the security forces. I tried to sleep again, then after awhile woke up to people screaming. We started to breathe in something strange in the air coming from the orchards.

People started to put pieces of fabric on their noses and mouths, because they got news that it was a chemical gas attack. In the beginning, the smell was a bit lighter and the young men started to call women and children to go down to the basements and shelters and they closed all the open windows and escape holes.

I ran with my husband and other people from the town. They put us in a shelter and closed the doors, windows, and all holes not to make the gas reach us. The smell started to become stronger.

Most people with respiratory diseases died. The scene of crying and choking were horrifying. We stayed in the shelter around 24 hours with no water and food. After that the men brought us some food and water. Some of those who did not die from the smell died because of the low oxygen in the shelter.

After we get out of the shelter, we saw things that you can't imagine. We heard about more than 3,000 casualties only in Hammouriya, most of whom were women and children. The death toll increased gradually. I went with my husband to the medical center. My husband felt so tired because of the huge amount of people. He started to breathe heavily and there was shortage in all types of medicine. Today we have a curfew.

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La Sagrada Familia Delayed Again — Blame COVID-19 This Time

Hopes were dashed by local officials to see the completion of the iconic Barcelona church in 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of the death of its renowned architect Antoni Guadí.

Work on La Sagrada Familia has been delayed because of the pandemic

By most accounts, it's currently the longest-running construction project in the world. And now, the completion of work on the iconic Barcelona church La Sagrada Familia, which began all the way back in 1882, is going to take even longer.

Barcelona-based daily El Periodico daily reports that work on the church, which began as the vision of master architect Antoni Gaudí, was slated to be completed in 2026. But a press conference Tuesday, Sep. 21 confirmed that the deadline won't be met, in part because of delays related to COVID-19. Officials also provided new details about the impending completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin).

El Periódico - 09/22/2021

El Periodico daily reports on the latest delay from what may be the longest-running construction project in the world.

One tower after the other… Slowly but surely, La Sagrada Familia has been growing bigger and higher before Barcelonians and visitors' eager eyes for nearly 140 years. However, all will have to be a bit more patient before they see the famous architectural project finally completed. During Tuesday's press conference, general director of the Construction Board of the Sagrada Familia, Xavier Martínez, and the architect director, Jordi Faulí, had some good and bad news to share.

As feared, La Sagrada Familia's completion date has been delayed. Because of the pandemic, the halt put on the works in early March when Spain went into a national lockdown. So the hopes are dashed of the 2026 inauguration in what would have been the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Although he excluded new predictions of completion until post-COVID normalcy is restored - no earlier than 2024 -, Martínez says: "Finishing in 2030, rather than being a realistic forecast, would be an illusion, starting the construction process will not be easy," reports La Vanguardia.

But what's a few more years when you already have waited 139, after all? However delayed, the construction will reach another milestone very soon with the completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin), the first tower of the temple to be completed in 44 years and the second tallest spire of the complex. It will be crowned by a 12-pointed star which will be illuminated on December 8, Immaculate Conception Day.

Next would be the completion of the Evangelist Lucas tower and eventually, the tower of Jesus Christ, the most prominent of the Sagrada Familia, reaching 172.5 meters thanks to an illuminated 13.5 meters wide "great cross." It will be made of glass and porcelain stoneware to reflect daylight and will be illuminated at night and project rays of light.

La Sagrada Familia through the years

La Sagrada Familia, 1889 - wikipedia

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