Maaloula, a small jewel nestled in the mountains of Syria. When we get to it by the road of Damascus, a Catholic mountain stands on the left and an Orthodox mountain on the right. Between the two sacred cliffs, a large statue of Our Lady of Syria is placed on its rocky promontory, overlooking the desert.
It is still early, and Maaloula already resonates with a vibrant hum of activity under the morning sun. Clouds of ochre dust rise from the winding streets of the village: the inhabitants of Maaloula are busy rebuilding their homes, which have been cruelly affected by the bombing during the liberation of the village in April 2014. Since then, a part of the village has been rebuilt but pieces of roofing still hang miserably in the ruined houses of the old town.
For its inhabitants, the destruction of their homes is a painful reminder of the severe human and financial consequences of war. Today, those who have stayed work hard to reconstruct their homes. Many home owners now face serious financial difficulties, as during the war, they were forced from their homes and made to rent an apartment or to take refuge with their neighbours, thus getting into financial debt.