November 2017
Aleppo homes

New Homes for Aleppo

“This new house is a stroke of God to my life.” Mrs. Mayada kept on repeating it while she showed us her house. She told us when she welcomed us, clasping our hand with both hands, and bowing slightly; and she repeated it as she led us to her brand new white balcony, to show us the rubble all around and on the sides of the street under her apartment. When the city was still occupied, that street was the border between West Aleppo, that was occupied by the government, and East Aleppo, the red zone controlled by rebels and Al-Nusra.

“The bombs in those days fell like hail … and there, right there, the ISIS snipers where hiding” she said pointing at the remains of other balconies next to hers, and some holes where once there were glass doors and windows: “they were our neighbors”. For this reason Mrs. Mayada left her house and went to live with some relatives in the west side of the city.

casa aleppo

Then, in December, the city was freed and people started talking about reconstruction, rebirth. Thanks to the help of the Franciscans, with the support of Association pro Terra Sancta, they began to rebuild some apartments where possible. Mayada’s home was one of the first to be restored. And while the specter of war is still widespread all around, her white apartment in the ocean of rubble truly is a “stroke of God”, in the middle of destruction and despair. The data we have confirm it.

casa aleppo macerie

Of about four million people in Aleppo, three left the city during the conflict and only have started to come back only recently.  Among those who reamined there were mostly women, the elderly and the children. Many men lost their lives in combat, and many still fight in Assad‘s army. Like Hussam, the son of Mayada, who is still fighting in the army. In addition, there is 85% of unemployment rate and 95% of households live below the poverty line and many of them still do not have a home.

Here the Franciscans, assisted by the Association pro Terra Sancta and the many friends and supporters, have really done a lot. Yet, of the 900 housing reconstruction requests, only 10% was accomplished through the activities of the friars and with the support of various friends and supporters.The price for the reconstruction of an apartment varies from 2,000 to 3,000 euros, therefore there is much that still needs to be done. For this reason, together with Mayada, her daughter and the community gathered around the Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, we strongly urge you to join the campaign “New Homes for Aleppo” to help with a small offer to bring a small “stroke of hope” to the families in Aleppo.


share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

Aleppo: forgiveness and charity to rebuild peace (April 2019)



Syria: Mons. Abou Khazen on the ongoing situation in Damascus (March 2018)

“At least 40 shells in Damascus today. Hundreds wounded”: updates from Ayham, ATS pro Terra Sancta, on the ongoing tragedy (February 2018)

Aleppo: mending wounds of the little Syrians (February 2018)

Recalling Christmas: The precious gift of the Franciscans to the children of Aleppo (January 2018)

Faith, Hope and Charity in Aleppo. Last stop of our trip to Syria (November 2017)

Aleppo: “We have to rebuild everything, but we are not alone” (October 2017)

Updates from Syria: “We’re going back home, but it is not over yet!” (August 2017)

Witnesses from Syria: Sister Iole, missionary of hope in Damascus (May 2017)

Six years of war in Syria and the tireless efforts of ATS pro Terra Sancta alongside the population (March 2017)

The rising of Aleppo (February 2017)

In Damascus the Franciscans Keep Their Doors Open (February 2017)

Aleppo is free but a real peace is still far away (December 2016)

The Franciscan church in Damascus hit by a mortar shell. Association pro Terra Sancta at the side of the Custody of the Holy Land (November 2016)

Our visit to the refugees in Rhodes: the commitment of Father Luke and the support of ATS pro Terra Sancta (October 2016)

Syria: The Association pro Terra Sancta relaunches the appeal for peace made by the Franciscan Order (October 2016)

War in Aleppo: updates from the friars in Syria (August 2016)

“Love is the First Commandment”: The Witness of the Summer Camp of Aleppo (July 2016)