"In Syria, despite everything, we must continue to live."

EN - Friday, 03 May 2019

Like every Tuesday, I find myself at the SOS Chrétiens d’Orient office with the Syrian volunteers to do the weekly assessment-donations.

I arrive early because we have to prepare lists of families we will visit and distribute the packages to each home. As I work with Suzy in the freshly painted room, Giosué, an Italian volunteer, gives a language course to a dozen Syrians: "Allora, come ti chiami? ". I smiled as I heard the singing accent of our Sardinian friend, who patiently repeats to his pupils the bots of sentences ...

Today, I will visit two families. In company of Mike and Liliane, I advance in the streets of Aleppo carrying the bags of donations. Both students, join us regularly to participate in the visits because they are glad to help their compatriots who live alone and in misery.

I enter the first house, that of Joseph *, a former military of the french army during the period of the mandate, who served during the last year of the french occupation. Disabled from the waist down, he has not been able to move from his wheelchair for a long time and yet, despite this physical handicap, I can see a bright flame shining in is eyes, the flame of a man who is happy to have given his life for his country, to have served others and to have committed to a cause that surpasses himself. We all talk together and proudly, he shows us an old photo. Despite the yellowing and dust, we can easily recognize our friend, in military uniform with all his decorations! His son takes us to the exit, thanking us for what we do for his father.

Impressed by the dignity and humbleness of this man, we continue our way to Maria's house.

Maria lives with her mother, who is also disabled and cannot stand. Entering the living room, I immediately notice a large table that occupies nearly a quarter of the room. On this table is stored a large number of photos of a girl. There are even personal items. One or two candles burn while the smell of incense stick floats in the air. On the walls, large frames still contain photos of this same girl. In a strange and slightly heavy atmosphere, Maria tells us the story of Jenny *, her 17-year-old daughter.

One day during the occupation of the city of Aleppo by the jihadists, a shell fell on the upper apartment of their building. Knowing that a 5-year-old was present, Jenny went straight up to try to save her. Unfortunately, a second shell fell in the same place at the same time. The young girl was found dead holding the girl in her arms.

Moved, we listen to these two women talking, pouring out the overflow of emotions.

"There is no greater love than giving your life for your friends"

To be present alongside these poor people who have suffered the horrors of war with courage, to learn from them that we must, despite everything, continue to live, that's what I like to learn in these visits. Every week, I meet new people and discover different stories. Because there are many that the association SOS Chrétiens d’Orient help: every week, a dozen homes in Aleppo welcome us. Help us continue to support these families! Donate !!!