Not all localities that have a high number of 'martyrs' on the Syrian government side in the Syrian civil war are Alawite and Shi'i. Qamhana, which lies to the north of Hama city, is a Sunni locality and has remained staunchly on the government side.
To learn more about Qamhana, I interviewed al-Sayyid Muhammad Fayadh Sudain (Abu Ja'afar), who is from Qamhana. This interview was conducted on 25 August 2019. It is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: Can you tell me a little about Qamhana generally? The number of inhabitants, the biggest families etc.
A: The locality of Qamhana is located north of the Syrian city of Hama. Qamhana is located west of the Imam Zain al-Abideen mountain that was called by this name after Imam Ali bin al-Hussein (peace be upon them both) and there is on the summit of the mountain a shrine and that has been there since the convoy of sabaya [female captives] passed through after the painful event of al-Taff [Karbala']. The number of inhabitants of the locality of Qamhana was before the global war on Syria around 17,000. The families in it: roughly speaking, most are relatives even if the names of the families differ.
The family of the family of al-Hassan, Sudain, Shu'ail and Hassoun is a family belonging to the al-Touqan clan whose lineage goes back to our ancestor: my sayyid and lord Bab al-Hawa'ij [door of fulfilling needs] Imam Mousa bin Ja'afar (peace be upon them both).
And the families of the family of Ajaj, Ibrahim, Shihab and al-Aswad are families whose lineages go back to Imam Zain al-Abideen (peace be upon him).
And the family of the family of Tamas say that their origins are Haydari from al-Najaf al-Ashraf [in Iraq].
And the family of the family of Majhud, their origins are Alawi from the Alawi mountains from Ain Qudhaib near the Syrian town of Masyaf, as they say.
And there is the family of the family of Nabhan, Sabahi and Khamees. They are likewise one family with a number of names.*
The martyrs of the village has become approximately 300 martyrs. They have fought on all the fronts and now they are the tip of the spear of the Tiger Forces of the Brigadier General Suhail al-Hassan. [The martyrs] are mostly recruits of self-defence ([popular] committees) and military personnel. [The number of martyrs who are] civilians and not fighters is very small: they were martyred in bombing of the terrorist groups and at the time of the attacks on the locality, which was exposed to multiple attacks, of which the most violent and recent was the attack in spring 2017 during which they [the terrorist groups] entered one of the neighbourhoods of the locality for a period of hours only.
Q: The locality is Sunni?
A: Yes the locality is Sunni despite the fact that most of its people are sayyids [descendants of the Prophet and his household], except me, the poor servant of God who have converted to the madhhab [school of thought] of the Ahl al-Bayt [Prophet's household] (peace be upon them). Also some of my brothers and sisters and some [other] people [have converted]. We [those of us in Qamhana who have become Shi'a] do not exceed the number of fingers of the hand.
Q: How is daily life in the locality generally right now?
A: The general situation in the past was excellent and in these days in the shade of the war the situation of most of the people is contemptible. But the security situation has becme excellent after the liberation of north Hama countryside two days ago and more.
Q: For example the national grid electricity: for how many hour it comes in the locality? And the water is available from the state network?
A: The electricity is available and largely acceptable. It may be cut off in the [entire] day for 5 or 6 hours. The water is generally available from state wells.
Q: Are there any projects from the municipal office recently?
A: No, there are none. Since the beginning of the events in 2011 everything stopped even at the level of repairing the lighting in the streets. There is no expenditure, and there are no budgets, according to what they say.
Q: What are the biggest challenges from the realm of services and the humanitarian situation?
A: The humanitarian situation: poverty. The [monthly] salary of the employee is 40,000 or 50,000 [Syrian pounds] or more and some days ago I heard that there are employees whose salary is less than 20.000 [Syrian] pounds and in any case the salary does not suffice for a week at best. At minimum, the family needs for monthly expenditure 150,000 Syrian pounds to live in poverty that is not terrible.
Q: How is the situation of garbage and sewage in Qamhana?
A: The municipal office services are roughly speaking very good.
*(Update 28 August 2019): Added by the interviewee at his request.