Necessity is the mother of invention. However, it's bigger than a necessity when your motherland gets bombed to smithereens by powers who will never break bread with you and your family on the same table. Thus, is the chagrin of the surviving brave Syrians who are meeting their everyday crisis of fuel shortage with dangerous, yet scientific alternatives.
It's devastating how we continue to pass our days when an almost World War III like incident ravages the nation and its beautiful, innocent civilians. Photos of children amidst the 6-year old war, venturing out to collect shrapnel and debris for recycling is heart-breaking, to say the least. But it also pays homage to the indomitable spirit of man for not bowing down to 'un'-natural selection. They fight life with what little they have; make the most out of the soot and rubble and are setting an example for the adage about a man and his ability to adapt.
If you need a proper headcount, there are 13.5 million people living in Syria, who need humanitarian assistance from all corners; this includes over 4 million people still living in war-prone areas. The above numbers are confirmed by UN, and are yesterday's news after the images of children in bloodied conditions from explosions stopped trending.
Their families still need the basic amenities that we need: Clean water, electricity, food, fuel, nothing more and definitely, nothing less.
While food and clean water are harder to procure, the brave and resourceful Syrians are still braving the war-ravaged streets in hopes of extracting diesel from waste plastic material and the likes.
They have also eventually learned to advance the process and extract gas as well. These are used to fuel water extraction processes, provide electricity in a limited setting, etc.
For those who are familiar with science fiction may also be familiar with the concept of a post-apocalyptic world where humans banded together like hunters and foragers. It is reminiscent of the first steps human civilizations took in the Stone Age, for survival.
The only difference is that instead of natural selection, they run the risk of running into a militant group or being stuck smack in the middle of a firing zone.
Make no mistake, the place still has an economy and industries, ramshackle however they maybe. However, as is the nature of war, prices have sky-rocketed.
This has made the need for processing plastic waste to produce energy on which the generators run, an imperative drive.
The plastic waste is sealed in barrels with a tube associated at the top.
Once the barrels are subjected to high temperatures in hand-made kilns, the smoke produced from the boiling plastic is channelled to a second section where it's cooled by subjecting to water. The resulting distilled material after condensation is collected in a third chamber.
The collection of gas and fuel from this process is tedious and life-threatening. Once distilled, the fuel is collected in cylinders by individuals with no safety gear on. This could be extremely dangerous if the cylinder decided to blow up!
The process may yield cheap fuel and gas to families at a low cost but the workers are martyring their lives in the process.
The constant exposure to smoke and flammable products is not doing their health any good. However, if everything is fair in war, then who are we to question someone's love for their society?
Even when it is driving them to jeopardize their own life?
We call them heroes without capes and return to vigilantism and awareness on social media, simple.
PC: Middle East Eye