Sick of doing without? Then do it yourself. That’s the philosophy of many Syrians who have concluded that if no help is coming from outside, they will invent their own solutions—with ingenuity and humor.
1. How to wash clothes in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb where power cuts have left residents in the dark, unless they can find fuel for costly generators? Create your own power by crossing a bike with a washing machine, and–as this video shows–pedal your laundry clean.
2. In the coldest winter in 100 years, people in rural Idleb are keeping warm around home-made stoves made of mud, wood shavings, and used metal canisters. This stove-in-a-tin has an airflow system that allows its flame to be “turned down” or “up” by opening or closing a hole in its L-shaped flue.
3. In war, recycling takes on a whole other meaning. In Duma, another heavily-bombed suburb of Damascus, metal-smiths have grown famous for making musical instruments from spent rocket parts and shell casings. Smith Abu Ali Al-Bitar has also made a motorcycle and a stove, while other craftsmen have created water-pipes from ballistic debris.