Syria – 10 years of war: a decade of pain and suffering, but also of “Salesian” hope and peace

16 March 2021

(ANS - Damascus) - When everything started it was thought that it would be or last just a matter of days or a maximum of a few weeks and that everything would soon return to normal. But 10 years have been passed since the start of hostilities and peace has not yet arrived. There are no more bombings in the big cities, as there were a few years ago, but the wake of destruction, death, injured and displaced people is infinite. The Salesians, for their part, reinvent themselves constantly with a single goal in their minds and hearts: "Do not leave young people and their families alone". And they have succeeded. They have formed a large family of children, young people and adults around the figure of Don Bosco and their environments are considered "oasis of peace".

The figures alone speak of the humanitarian disaster of the Syrian war: more than half a million dead, 1.5 million wounded, 5.7 million refugees and 6.7 million internal displaced people ... It is true that the fighting has decreased, but the economic crisis and the pandemic are currently the most dramatic battles suffered by the population, since 80% of the Syrians have been living under the poverty line since the beginning of last year's confinement.

In these ten years there were so many painful moments; after all, "In Syria, we all cry for a family member or a friend killed by bombs," adds the Salesian Fr Pier Jabloyan. However, hope has always been stronger than war, and the culture of peace has transformed the Salesian environments into oases.

This family atmosphere has helped to unite the entire Christian community of Aleppo and Damascus, even in the worst situations, and has multiplied the faith of young people and their families. Currently, in Damascus there are 1,200 minors, adolescents, young people and even groups of adults active at the Salesian house; in Aleppo, there were up to 1,000 young people of different Christian confessions. The result was a large family that has helped each other, which has always been in touch with one another and that has strengthened its faith in the midst of difficulties.

But there are many children under the age of 10 who do not know life as other but war, and for this reason, the Salesians continue to be at their side, offering accompaniment, food and economic support to them and their families.

In fact, aid has never been wanting. Thanks to the economic support of many Salesian organizations, and also thanks to prayer and proximity, the Salesians of Aleppo, Damascus and Kafroun continue to help children with recovery courses, theater workshops, sports and recreational activities. Even during the pandemic.

The Syrians cry aloud, ask for a definitive and lasting peace to be able to begin to reconstruct their country and their lives. And meanwhile, the Salesians offer education to peace and Christian values to anyone approaching their presences in Aleppo, Damascus and Kafroun.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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