“We heard that the Church assists, helps and encourages people; and so it’s ready to intervene in rebuilding a damaged house, it’s ready to help a father to find a job and to cover some of the expenses there might be. Or still it’s ready to donate at least a first-aid food package.” Speaking are some Christians of Aleppo, Syria. They have decided to return home during the last months, precisely six months after we had known that the city had finally been freed.
“18 families have come back since the beginning of this year” father Ibrahim Alsabagh, the parson of the Franciscan church in Aleppo, tells us “and we know that some others are thinking about returning here”. This is really a great sign of hope for the local community which right now is exhausted for the many difficulties it has been through. It is also an encouraging sign for the Franciscan Friars, who have always been present in Syria, alongside the people in these years of war. “It encourages us to keep on going and to raise even more the level of hospitality” Father Ibrahim continues.
In fact, despite it has been a while since the city was liberated and some activities have already been restored, fear is still widespread in Aleppo, water and electricity are still intermittently missing and the price of the everyday life keeps on growing. The Franciscan parson is really worried: “Lately there have been many bombings in the New City of Aleppo, and many civilians were killed by the missiles launched by some armed groups. During all night they kept on firing from outside the city. We hear the noise and we see the consequences; many times they tell us that is Daesh, other times they tell us that there might be other external groups. People look around and wonder: ‘Is it over or not? Will there be a chance for a new life?’”
Syria is more and more a “wounded country– the Friar says- a destroyed country, an economically paralyzed State which begins to depend totally upon the foreign markets…People try to imagine a future, the thing is that they can’t see this future, especially from a human point of view.”
For this reason Association pro Terra Sancta remains alongside the Franciscans, and supports them in this endless Calvary. It is important to keep on supporting the people in Aleppo and in the whole Syria.