In a plant nursery in the northern countryside of Aleppo, north Syria, displaced women from Afrin are busy with putting seedlings in small bags and filling them with soil, while men are stacking the bags close to each other.
Seven men and five women are working in the nursery for 8 hours a day for only 8,000 SYP.
Despite this, the nursery workers find that it is better than staying without work.
In 2019, Muhammad Kadro established the nursery in front of the dilapidated house that shelters his family in the village of al-Ahdath in the northern countryside of Aleppo, after he was forced to leave his nursery in the village of Kafr Safra in Afrin during the Turkish military operation against Afrin in 2018.
Following the Turkish offensive, the indigenous people of Afrin took shelter in dilapidated villages and five camps in the northern countryside of Aleppo, north Syria.
The nursery contains several types of trees like olive, apricot, fig, pomegranate and nut, it also has many kinds of flowers such as jasmine, Arabian jasmine and basil.
During the past years of displacement, Kadro used to plant 50,000 olive saplings annually, but this year his project expanded to reach about 150,000 saplings.
Planting saplings is Kadro’s main job, as he has been practicing for nearly 35 years and was able, in cooperation with his family members, to return to it again, after he was displaced from his region.
Kadro recalls his work in his village, which included about 800 families, most of which depended on the nurseries as a source of living.
At the time, the man had larger areas for planting and was exporting his nursery production to Iraq, Iran and Libya, but now he sells his saplings to traders from Aleppo, Hama and areas in northeastern Syria, in addition to farmers in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
The owner of the nursery suffers from the difficulty of securing fuel most of the time to operate the generator and water the saplings, due to the siege imposed by the Syrian government on the areas they took shelter.
Adding to fuel shortage, the nursery needs small nylon bags to plant the saplings in them, as kadro faces difficulties in securing them as well as their high prices.
300,000 people fled Afrin as a result of a military operation launched by Turkish forces with the support of the Turkish-backed armed Syrian opposition factions in 2018.
Consequently, a part of the Afrin IDPs resorted to camps including al-Awda, Afrin, Barkhodan, Sardam, and Shahba while others resorted to 42 villages and towns in the northern countryside of Aleppo, in addition to some others displaced to cities of the Jazira, Kobani and other areas in north and northeast Syria.