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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Breaking taboos: Syrian young women use bicycles to get around | Middle East Online

Damascenes turn to bikes to avoid endless traffic jams and to save scarce fuel.
Middle East Online
Business has never been better
DAMASCUS - Damascus bike shop owner Ali Jumaa is a happy man despite the civil war raging across Syria: with checkpoint-weary locals in the capital increasingly swapping their cars for bicycles, business has never been better.
"Bike sales are exploding," he said with a big smile.
Young Damascenes especially have turned to bikes en masse to avoid the endless traffic jams caused by hundreds of army checkpoints.
Two and a half years into Syria's brutal war, the economy has taken a beating, with inflation soaring at 68 percent and scores of businessmen leaving the country.
While the conflict has caused heavy losses for most businesses in Damascus, Jumaa, a trader in his 40s, is among the lucky ones.
It's hard to miss his store, which sells bicycles of all types and colours as well as carrying out repairs.

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