The Lone Family: Life in a Syrian Ghost Town

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In better times, Idlib Province in northwestern Syria was a major production center for olives, cotton, fruits and textiles. But since the early days of the bloody conflict in Syria, it has been a rebel stronghold and the scene of heavy fighting. Civilians fled the carnage by the thousands, leaving empty ghost towns dotting the countryside. For the few families who stayed, life slinks along amid the explosions and crackle of gunfire. Children’s chores and play are interrupted by zipping bullets and whining mortar shells. A photographer for the AP spent the day with Mohammed Kale, his wife, children and grandchildren. They are the only family remaining in the desolate ghost village of Kfar Lata. Mohammed’s son, Ahmed, leads his men to the frontlines, and after the day’s fighting, they hope to return to their families and one more day of life in the rubble of what’s left of their home.— Nate Rawlings

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