Fr. Hanna from the Idlib province: “Things are getting worse everyday”
The appeal of Father Hanna, the parish priest of Knayeh in the missions of the Orontes in Syria, is poignant: “Unfortunately things are not going very well here”, he said with honest simplicity. The villages of Knaye and Yacoubieh are in one of the areas most affected by the Syrian war. They are in the middle of the clashes and tensions between the Syrian army, the opposition and foreign forces. The territory is still under the control of jihadist militias and unfortunately kidnappings are still the order of the day. Father Hanna tells of the kidnapping of a young father of four daughters: “He was kidnapped a month ago and until now we do not know how his story will end. The robbers have asked for a hundred thousand dollars, but it’s impossible”. An impossible amount, even more so if we consider the current economic crisis with the Syrian lira in free fall and the country towards the collapse. American sanctions have given the final stroke. The Cesar Act promoted by the USA is bringing the country to its knees: “those who have been hit are the citizens and not the state, as the sanctions would like. People are starting to go hungry”. To counter this crisis, a decree has recently been issued imposing the use of the Turkish lira in the Idlib region.
The Franciscan friar also expresses great concern for the students: “we have prepared our students to take the exams, but to take them they should necessarily go to a ministerial seat of government”. The closure of borders and roads makes it impossible to move: “Poor boys who will lose a year of their lives only because of the whim of certain people”. The two Franciscan schools in the convents of Knaye and Yacoubieh, which Pro Terra Sancta has supported for years, represent for 70 students the only opportunity to receive a school education and for 11 teachers the opportunity to have a job. A hope for the future that risks to fail. So here is his request for help: “Here I make this appeal to you so that you truly know how things are going and how we must act. May the Lord take care of us all”