Tag Archives: Syria

Rebuilding Syria: Can you volunteer?

“My time in Syria began with an assignment in the Christian village of Maaloula, at the heart of the mountains in the north of Damascus. This is a charming village with an incredible cultural heritage, and I was struck by the beauty of the surroundings. The village is made of old houses painted in blue near churches with some of them built more than 1600 years ago and a great statue of Mary is contemplating the valley from the top of a hill……..

After Maaloula, I went to Aleppo to work on another assignment for three weeks. I felt so privileged to be able to discover this city that I always dreamed of. It has a profoundly rich cultural heritage and is considered as one of the oldest cities of the world……..

Finally, and to finish my time in Syria, I was sent to Homs, third biggest Syrian city. Here again, I discovered entire neighbourhoods shattered by the war with broken glass still paving the streets. Every week we went to the Qara monastery to offer our help for the many works that had to be done. We also spent quite a lot of time in Sadad, a small Christian village in the desert where we visited the elderly and gave French classes to adults and teenagers. My Syrian adventure ended on a high note with the Pentecost pilgrimage near Tartous with all the French and Syrian volunteers of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient. ”

Read more here about Vincent’s charitable working holiday, and Join the volunteers in Syria. 

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Christian towns targeted on the murderous frontline

With ferocious clashes currently taking place around Christian towns on the Hama-Idleb borders in Syria, independent journalist Vanessa Beeley reports:

“I have visited As Suqaylabiyah many times over the last year and have personally experienced a number of the attacks on the town by the HTS-dominated terrorist groups embedded in the surrounding countryside. In September 2018, Al Suqaylabiyah and the neighbouring town of Mhardeh were targeted with prohibited ground-launched cluster munitions and Grad missiles. In Mhardeh, 13 civilians were killed in the attack, another massacre that barely registered in Western reporting.

The shock that resonated throughout Al Suqaylabiyah after the deaths of four children in May 2019 was unprecedented. I visited the town about a week after the attack ……..”

Read more at MintPress News.

 

Amazing historic Christian sites

From the Syrian Ministry of Tourism.

Follow them on Facebook and learn of many more fantastic ancient Christian sites to visit such as the town of Ma’loula (where Aramaic, the principle language spoken by Jesus is still spoken today) or the incredible 11th-century crusader castle, Krak des Chevaliers.

#SAINT_HANANIYA_CHURCH#Damascus_Old_City – Bab Sharqi

In the heart of Damascus, One of the oldest churches ever built.

The smell & fragrance of old History & Christianity spreading out in every corner,

Where Saint Hananiya Church located approximately two hundred meters north of #Strait_Street near #Bab_Sharqi ( Eastern Gate)

It is a small underground Chapel ( five meters below ground level today ), this was likely the street level during the Roman period, where Archaeological excavations in 1921 found the remains of a Byzantine church from the 5th or 6th century ..

The Historical Church houses only a small Altar, some Icons and a few pews.

The #Icons in the church tell the story of the conversion of #Saul_of_Tarsus, who converted to Christianity & became St. #Paul_the_Apostle, when Hananiya (Ananias) received a divine revelation from #Jesus_Christ instructing him to visit Saul, and by placing his hand’s upon his eyes, restored Saul’s vision. and Ananias baptized Saul and became Christian,,,

Maronite Patriarch renews call for International Community to help displaced Syrians return home

The Syria Times reports that “Maronite Patriarch Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi has renewed his call on the international community to help the displaced Syrians return to their homeland.”

Patriarch al-Rahi stated that certain governments are purposely preventing the return of Syrian refugees due to geo-political machinations “which have nothing to do with human values.”

Patriarch al-Rahi previously affirmed back in April that “some international parties don’t want displaced Syrians to return home” because it “serves their political interests.”

This horrific fact was also affirmed by the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, and other government ministers to one of The Saint George Educational Trust’s founding trustees during a recent visit to The Lebanon.

SOS Christians of the East

Al-Suqaylabiyah buries its children.

As the long-awaited offensive of the Syrian Arab Army against al-Qaeda is finally launched to clear Idlib of more than 30,000 foreign head-chopping terrorists, the number of civilian martyrs also increases. The Wahhabi-Salafist terrorists are continuing to bombard the Christian villages of al-Suqaylabiyah and Mahardah in northern Hama.

On Sunday, four children and a woman died martyrs under the rockets of terrorists. Six others were critically injured.

SOS Chrétiens d’Orient is on the ground helping the families of martyrs in Mahardah, al-Suqaylabiyah

Read about what we do (you can electronically translate the page from French into English), donate and support our actions:

Archbishop: Sanctions Worse than Bombs!

A DAMAGED PARADISE:

When I arrived in Damascus in 2006 I hardly ever met anyone asking for aid. Querying this fact I was helped by a fellow priest who told me that this was normal in a country where education and hospital facilities are free:  low salaries were enough for everyday needs.  There was no need to beg.

Eight years of war have destroyed an entire country and its peaceful people: unmerited destruction, 600,000 deaths, 12 million refugees and homeless exiles, a paralyzed economy, worthless money, and. ever-rising inflation, all with a crushing embargo. .

Families are saying now: we were better off with bombs flying around us. We could take shelter and hide somewhere. .How can we get away now with an economic war knocking at the door?

A WOUNDED HUMANITY:

The economic struggle is fast taking the place of the violent military interventions and touches all social classes; the embargo on anything from Iran has engulfed the Syrian people who are seemingly forgotten and left in misery. .

If it was hard to meet a poor Syrian in 2006, today it is impossible not to come across a Syrian who is not living in need whilst facing impossible social problems, all crowned by  a constant lack of work, and therefore continual unemployment.

How difficult it is to see those families torn apart more and more, and obliged to continually beg to stay alive. However, the hardest is not that of seeing people in need but how their human dignity is so wounded.  Bitterness can be seen so easily in the faces which do not look one in the eye in order to avoid further humiliation.

In the face of this hurt and broken people the Church keeps looking at the EMPTY TOMB.

+Samir Nassar

                                                                                                                            Maronite Archbishop of Damascus

Christians Angry at Sanctions

“We are angry at the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States against Syria, which only exacerbate the humanitarian situation without having any impact on the end of hostilities and the establishment of peace.”

“On the one hand, all the armed rebel groups are now amassed in the province of Idlib. Al-Nusra, the local emanation of al-Qaeda, recognized as a terrorist group by the UN and the international community, is in the process of eliminating or engulfing all other movements, of Islamic inspiration, with the force of weapons. For months, the Syrian army has wanted to launch an offensive to free the latter province from the hands of terrorists, 30 thousand of them foreigners, but the Western powers, ……. are preventing it.”

“On the other hand, a war is unfolding on our territory and it is the one that pits Turkey against the Kurdish militias. Finally, the Americans who illegally established two bases in a sovereign nation, today want to withdraw following the decision of President Donald Trump. But his administration, like Congress, are incapable of reaching agreement on this strategy and try to sabotage it by all means possible.”

“During the difficult years of the conflict, our aid programs sought to nourish, dress, give food and shelter to displaced people and their families in need. Now, we believe that the priority is to guarantee work to people so that they can earn a decent living from the fruits of their labour and become independent, breaking free from the aid upon which they have depended for seven years now.

Unfortunately, our resources like those of all others are greatly diminished. With the end of the fighting, the donations of individuals have dropped considerably. And international charitable organizations refuse, in most cases, to finance development programs; some still intend to support outdated relief plans. As if we wanted to keep people in need forever, in a state of begging and dependence, rather than restoring their dignity and hope.”

“Yes, we are angry.”

Read the full article at Asia News