An elderly Syrian woman eats in her room at the Dar al-Saada (Home of Happiness) retirement home, in the Syrian capital Damascus on January 8, 2017. AFP / LOUAI BESHARA
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At Syria retirement home, elderly left behind by warAlone in her room at an overcrowded retirement home in Damascus, Naz Ashiti thumbs through photographs of her daughters overseas, her eyes lingering on features she has not seen in years. Sending aging family members to a retirement home was once unthinkable for most Syrians, but almost six years of war and displacement have left many with little choice.Ashiti, 85, is one of the 140 elderly Syrians being cared for at Dar al-Saada (Home of Happiness) – one of the capital's biggest homes for old people.Since the eruption of Syria's war – which has displaced millions and killed at least 310,000 – elderly Syrians without families are flocking to Dar al-Saada.Out of seven old people's homes in Damascus, three are private and four are government-run.The home in the Mazzeh district west of Damascus welcomes visitors, but few of its elderly residents there are called on by their children.
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