It’s not often journalists take an interest in taxi drivers, except if they are lost for a story or need an ‘authoritative’ source on what’s happening in the country. RT found the only taxi driver left in Aleppo (on the ‘liberated’, less-bombed side presumably) – and she’s female.
After five years of conflict, Aleppo lies in ruins. Still, the city’s only female taxi driver, who lost her son and husband in the Syrian war, hopes that one day her city will be rebuilt. Before the war, Aleppo was even more beautiful than Paris, believes Emenour, 52, who is a mother, a grandmother, and a taxi driver, which is unusual in the Arab world.
“When I started out, I was afraid, but in five and a half years, people have accepted that women can work anyway. But it was difficult at first,” she told RT’s Murad Gazdiev. She took Gazdiev on a car ride across the city and told her story about facing constant shelling and death. “We still live. There are snipers. There is shelling,” she said.
Aleppo is now unrecognizable from the “beautiful and majestic” Aleppo before the war, she said.
“Five years ago before the war, Aleppo was like Paris, even more beautiful. Now look at this destruction. It was so majestic and now it’s all ruined. But we will rebuild it all. And most importantly, soldiers will go back to their families and their mothers,” she said.
Emenour’s eldest son was killed over a year ago in a fight near Damascus, she recalled. “The body was a hundred meters away from the army post and watched by rebel snipers. I waited for 20 days but couldn’t get him.”
Emenour’s house was destroyed in the shelling. Now she lives with several cats in an apartment given to her by the Syrian government.
Emenour has two daughters and a son who live far from Aleppo, but she hopes that one day her family will be reunited. “Of course, it’s been hard and my heart is on fire, but I hope that my country will become the way it was and even better. The day this war ends, I will try to bring all the family back together.”