A Syrian family walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings being removed by a bulldozer in Harasta, on the outskirt of the Syrian capital Damascus on July 15, 2018. AFP / LOUAI BESHARA
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Khaled's delicate hands were accustomed to cutting and styling hair in his Syrian hometown Harasta. Now, they're hauling concrete and sweeping floors in order to repair homes ravaged by years of fighting.Mountains of rubble still block many of the main thoroughfares in Harasta, a town outside Damascus whichw as held for nearly five years by armed rebels.Harasta was once home to 250,000 people, most of them Syrians from elsewhere in the country who worked in the capital but sought cheap rent.Mohammad Naaman, 50, was terrified his home would be among those gutted by fighting – and can hardly contain himself when he finds it still standing.He, too, fled to Al-Tal in 2012 and still lives there.The doors and windows of his Harasta home have been blown out and cracks run up the walls, threatening collapse."Whatever happens, it's still my house, and my house is so dear to me," Naaman said.Like his neighbors, Naaman's first step was removing the rubble and debris from his home, dumping them into the main street nearby according to instructions by local authorities.
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