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Syria rebels' aliases grow into new personalities
Syria rebels' aliases grow into new personalities

At the hair salon on her wedding day, a fellow bride turned to Tuqaa Afash and asked who her fiance was. "Abdulkareem Laila," Afash said, expecting that in the tight-knit village on the outskirts of Aleppo, the woman would recognize his name. "I don't know him," the woman said. Afash tried again. "Abu Firas," she said. "You're Abu Firas' fiancee?" the woman asked excitedly, as if referring to a celebrity. "Everyone was wondering who his fiancee would be. The girls were gossiping about it at school." Her fiance was no longer Abdulkareem, the quiet young man who couldn't find a job after graduating and spent months...

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