The city of Homs has experienced a terrible war in recent years; the landscape has changed radically. Between rubble, concrete round, bullet holes, ruins and car wrecks, life has resumed, as a victory greater than war. The souks open again from days to day and families come back little by little. A few months ago, the neighbourhoods stood silent at night. Now, it is the sound of a scout band that pierces the night, or the cries of joy of a marriage celebration that surprise the volunteers in their activities, or the noise of a building site wakes them up at dawn, because the neighbor has returned in the middle at night to start rebuilding his house.

Antoine, former communication officer in Homs

The birth of Christ reveals to everyone, no matter the communities, that joy is greater than death, that eternal life is the reason for our life on earth. God has made himself a man to save us, not as a prince but as the smallest of the smallest, born in a manger because he was refused at the village inn. It is our simple life, our love and joy that will lead us to the fullness of our life with God. Jesus has shown us the example of a good life, whether we believe or not in him.

Every year and for five years, the Bayti association organizes a big Christmas event in Homs, on the Hamadiyah square, to unite the entire community after the hardships experienced together.

Children dance, and their mothers run after them, fathers discuss daily life. Little red hats with tassels are spread over a popcorn. Eyes full of stars shine with glee and little hands are come to grab some candy. With music playing in the background, one can feel the magic in the air; music which fills the youngest with joy and even tempts a few to step onto the dance floor.

It is difficult in this general uproar to understand the neighbours words, the ear must be soft as the low-pushed basses increase the heart rate. Volunteers quickly understand that it will is so poignant to film these memorable scenes of joy after so many years of war.

At the stand of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, volunteers wearing the traditional red-heart sweatshirts try so hard not to burn their fingers as they pour coffee and tea for the revelers from their thermos flasks.

Families walk into crowded streets before meeting at the foot of the Christmas tree for the Christmas concert. Young singers proudly wear a scarf and a red cap to keep nice and warm in the cold winter night. Polyphonic sounds bounce against the walls of the buildings before becoming lost in the wind that whistles to the sky.

Like the year before, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient participated in organizing this event.  Volunteers gather there, in tribute to dead friends, in the hope of a better future, a future that is now beginning to become a reality

The families of Homs will have their smiles and cries of joy. Support the Christmas market project.



Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.