For the first time since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011, Damascenes can try to enjoy Ramadan, even though clashes still take place on the edges of the city. (AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA)
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Each evening, Zakaria Orchi has been meeting up with friends at a favorite cafe to lounge away the hours, just as they used to during Ramadan nights in Syria's capital before war broke out.For the first time since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011, Damascenes can try to enjoy Ramadan, even though clashes still take place on the edges of the city.Another sign of a return to something like normal life has been the reopening of Damascus roads closed to traffic ever since the summer of 2012 because of their proximity to government buildings.At the height of Syria's conflict, they were rushed affairs running from four in the afternoon until seven.Even so, rebel mortar bombs still crash down on Damascus and authorities bombard rebel strongholds around the capital, often just meters beyond the city limits.
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