A few years ago, the place where the bloody scenes were seen, became a meeting place for lovers. Al-Naim Square has changed completely today. It has become a favorite destination for lovers, family and friends. But there have been no such situations before. During the rule of ISIS in Syria, people are afraid to come here. People were hanged here. The locals called it ‘Jahannum Wala Chowk’. There have been more massacres here than ever before. Jihadists crucified many under Islamic Sharia law and beheaded many. Nadar al-Hussein, 25, who is sitting here, said, “We have avoided going through that before to avoid seeing blood and horror. Hussein says he never dared to meet his girlfriend. We were only talking on the phone for fear of getting punished.
People sitting here told AFP that we had never brought children here before so that they would not see the severed head hanging. Ahmed al-Hamad says this roundabout is reminiscent of the tragedy we lived through. It reminds us of the sad things of that time. Al-Naim Square now looks like paradise, says Manaf, 24. Here comes the pair. Kids play here and people take selfies from here.
The exit of ISIS has seen positive changes in many respects. The central fountain is built here. Curved pillars are built around the fountain. There are benches for people to sit on near the pool next door. At night, the view of the square with laser lights of different colors is worth seeing. Cafes and restaurants have been built around the roundabout.
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