None of Yousef al-Ahmad’s three young children have ever been officially registered with any local authority. This means that their ability to seek aid and access to education may be at risk.
Al-Ahmed said he had made his peace with their unregistered status. The war had left him with little choice.
“I don’t expect help from other people. The crops I grow are sufficient to support my family,” he said.
“As for schools, they have all closed down due to continuous shelling. Even if they were open, sending my children out each day would endanger their lives.”
But for many others in the Homs countryside, documenting births, marriages and deaths has become extremely problematic.
One man named Mohammad told Damascus Bureau that he dared not visit a government institute for fear of being arrested.
But he said it was necessary to register with the local authorities to gain access to aid, as most local relief organisations verify information about families in need with officials before distributing assistance.
Areas that no longer fall under regime control offer documentation issued by Sharia courts or local councils, although these documents are not recognised by government institutes.
Nevertheless, many residents choose to register with them.
Sheikh Raed Izeddine, head of the Sharia court in the village of Termalla, explained how the process worked.
See more: https://damascusbureau.org/19438/