It's 9:30am, and like every morning, for now two weeks, volunteers help rebuild a house in the Wadi al Sayeh district in Homs. The way is not long, but it ice the blood, it takes your breath away. It is impossible not to notice these buildings, riddled with bullets and burned by fire. Yes, we are well in a country that has suffered the horrors of a horrible war.
As usual, Nariman is waiting for us with impatience at the foot of her building. She welcomes us with warmth and hospitality in her literally destroyed apartment. She cannot live in her house as rooms are partially destroyed. Only the ceiling doesn't fall on our head.
Nariman explains with eagerness the work we have to do. She observes the volunteers, she questions them progress of the various tasks. But, what makes her all the more admirable is that she lends us a strong hand. Dressed in a city outfit, she takes the shovel to pick up some rubble, she carries the block of cinder upstairs. Then she leaves us for a little hour.
At noon, she comes with loaded hands; she offers us lunch. During her absence, she cooks Manouchés (Syrian-Lebanese galette) with cheese or vegetables. It's exquisite and so invigorating.
The work is progressing. Soot did not resist the chafing of sponges, the ceramic gave up against the many burin strokes and the wall of the main room surrendered to the countless hammer strokes.
This former public servant tells us about her experience during the war. From the beginning of the conflicts in 2012, the terrorists of al Nusra took the neighborhood sparing no one. Several members of her family perish. It is with great sadness, that she decides to leave Syria in 2014, with her husband, seriously injured in both legs. On the German soil that she legally set foot on, everything seems unknown to her. She feels lonely. The language barrier as well as the cultural shock plunge her into a real existential crisis. Proudly attached to the oriental traditions and her daily life, she cannot and does not want to uproot her mother homeland. Her four girls miss her terribly. The anguish of no longer cherish them, not to see her neighbors, to no longer go to her church make her sick. Exemplary and brave, barely one year after her arrival in Hanover, she returns to Syria.
Her attachment for her neighborhood is only equal to her love for Christian faith. She is proud to be Syrian. "Syria is a jewel of the Middle-East thanks to the Christians who live there. I will never be able to live in another place. My country is my life ". This word full of meaning and wisdom resonates in our hearts and strengthens our minds.