Damascus Avoids Blood of Uprising, but Not Pain
New York Times / NADA BAKRI

Electricity is rationed. People are stocking up on food items like milk, rice, sugar and even drinking water. Cooking and heating gas has become expensive and hard to find. Prices are soaring...Many there now speculate that perhaps what will drive this city to join the revolt is not demands for more freedoms and political rights but a drastically deteriorated living situation.

“Pretty soon we will start demonstrating against poverty and not politics,” said Abu Omar, 60, a shopkeeper here...

As Damascus braces for what some fear might prove a reckoning, residents lament a life that has become at times unbearable.

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