News

Beneficiary's testimony - The workers, engineers, association and donors are building my life.

EN - Tuesday, 11 August 2020


The total reconstruction of a house in Homs now costs 7,145 euros, the Syrians need our help now more than ever.

Do not wait any longer to give the poor hope for a better future at home. Donate :

donate button

 

Before the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011, the city of Homs was known for its peaceful lifestyle. It had the nickname "mother of the poor". The cost of living there was extremely low compared to other big cities like Damascus or Aleppo.

SOS Crétiens Orient Homs IssaThis city and its inhabitants were severely affected by the violent clashes between 2011 and 2014. The war caused the complete destruction of parts of the city. Particularly the Christian quarter of Al-Hamiddieh where we are today.

In this district, Christian since its creation, the houses surround the famous Church of Our Lady of the Belt. The holy belt of the Virgin Mary is exhibited there. Many people come to meditate, to pray in front of the belt.

On August 4, 2020, our destination is the home of Issa Bakhos, a Syriac Orthodox resident of Homs. He decided to stay in his town: “I am 45 years old, I am married and I have 3 children. My eldest daughter Nour, 11, is disabled. She was mentally retarded from birth. She can't do anything on her own. She cannot speak, express herself! I also have two other boys George and Joude 10 and 8, they go to school. Before the war I owned a sewing workshop. Obviously all the machines were stolen during our years in exile between 2012 and 2014. Now I repair the clothes of the people of the neighborhood in a small store loaned by a charitable soul. "

In January 2012, Issa and his family had to flee the armed groups. They had to leave their apartment. For them it was exile, without being able to take anything, neither clothes nor money. Even their administrative papers! "You leave with your souls only, otherwise we take them! Hurry up. "

Issa tells us with great emotion his Stations of the Cross: “Our first destination was the Valley of the Christians, more precisely a small village called Joir Al-Afes. We settled there in a small, unsanitary apartment, with cracks in the walls, cold and wet in winter. Then we moved to AL-Mashta and then to Marmarita we moved from apartment to apartment like nomads. Each time, the landlords increased the rents when we needed the money to care for our sick daughter and feed our family! In 2014 when Homs was liberated by the Syrian Arab Army, I didn't even hesitate a minute before making the decision to return home. Can you imagine a life without work, with a very expensive monthly rent and a disabled girl whose drugs cost a fortune? Two sons to go to school? I felt like I was incapable, much more disabled than my daughter. "

SOS Chrétiens Orient Syrie Homs reconstruction solIssa has always refused to leave Syria. He is too attached to his city, even though his sister, living abroad has repeatedly invited him to emigrate and join her. “I wanted to go home, even though the news said our apartment was destroyed. When I got to my street, I didn't recognize my apartment! I couldn't see him, I was looking for him. There was nothing left! No walls, no doors, no balcony, everything was black, burnt. At that point, I realized we had lost everything. But my wife and I wanted to come back at any cost. We then made the decision to pitch a tent and live there. We could no longer pay the rents which had become too expensive for us, more than 70 euros per month! "

SOS Chrétiens Orient travaux maisons HomsIssa's wife is an Arabic teacher at a public school. The monthly salary of a teacher is equivalent to 20 Euros! The purchasing power is extremely low, especially following the application of the new US sanctions and the Caesar law. "We can no longer feed ourselves ... for my wife and I, our priority is buying medicine for our daughter and not our own food. I just have one question: why am I being sanctioned as Issa Bakhos? How am I a danger to the Western powers who are punishing my family? Wake up, I am a simple citizen! As the French proverb says, they are strong with the weak and weak with the strong. "

"I have heard of SOS Chrétiens d'Orient by reputation. Everyone was talking about a French association working in Syria. I went to see them, and they were very welcoming. I had my house assessed for damage. After a visit from members of the association, my request was accepted. Thanks to the French volunteers, I saw the progress of the work in my apartment. This is not just a simple building site. The workers, engineers, association and donors actually build my life. "

"First I rebuilt the completely destroyed walls, then we spread the plaster, the paint and there we lay the tiles. It should be noted that reconstruction materials are currently very expensive because of the depreciation of the local currency against the dollar. I obviously thank the donors who finance the work, I thank their generosity towards Christians in Syria. "


Issa and her family will soon find their apartment, they will also find their life and their future there. Issa insists on the action of the volunteers he met: "I can only be grateful to all these young French people who come from afar to help us. While being angry with certain Western governments which are destroying my dear country militarily and economically! Currently I am praying. I pray to thank people and good hearts for their solidarity. I pray this atrocious war will end. "



The total reconstruction of a house in Homs now costs 7,145 euros, the Syrians need our help now more than ever.

Do not wait any longer to give the poor hope for a better future at home. Donate :

donate button