Syrians near Damascus along with President Bashar al-Assad celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, as the warring sides announce a three day truce. Mana Rabiee reports.
Residents of Zamalka, an eastern suburb of Damascus, say five years of war had pretty much stopped Eid al-Fitr festivities. Until now. They uploaded social media videos this week showing their preparations for the three-day festival that started Wednesday and marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. These neighbors say they built swings for the local children. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED MAN SAYING: "We want to help Zamalka families and children prepare for Eid. They have not had Eid for five years. This is the first year, and I hope that we can make children happier." In the western city of Homs, a beleaguered president joins in the local Eid prayers. Bashar al-Assad is fighting a protracted civil war that has ruined his country economically and left it fragmented. On Wednesday, a rebel alliance agreed to a three-day truce announced by the army to coincide with the holiday. But opposition groups and a monitoring organization say it actually changed little on the ground. The U.S. hopes a more significant ceasefire can be achieved. But fighting and air attacks continued in Syria Wednesday -- despite the truce and despite this holiest of seasons for the worlds' one billion Muslims.