Syria: We are with you!

31 December 2012

On the last day of 2012 our thoughts and efforts are still with the people suffering from war and natural disasters.

Aleppo, Syria. “Gasoline continues to be lacking and what little can be found is sold at exorbitant prices. The same is true for oven gas tanks (5,500 LS compared to 400 LS in March). The electricity has been cut for days and days, leaving the city in a threatening darkness after sunset. Bread is also scarce and it can only be purchased after spending long hours in line, in front of baker’s shops and paying 250 LS for one package (compared to the March price of 20 LS). The army is trying to provide bread, but isn’t able to keep up with the need of the people. School buildings that have not been transformed into havens for refugees are continuing to hold classes. But the lack of electricity makes studying toilsome and difficult (there aren’t even candles anymore). Some have begun to fall ill because of the cold and lack of medicines. Nearly 70% of the pharmacies are on the outskirts of the city and it is quite difficult to obtain medicines from other regions of the country because of road blocks. It is feared that hospitals will soon be unable to continue providing care because oxygen begins to be lacking. Telephone communications are often interrupted. In spite of it all the population is giving quite a great witness of solidarity. The Focolare community and others are taking care of support activities: a small school for the deaf has restarted in a safer area, in a location offered by the Franciscan Fathers. The families that we are visiting one by one, ask us before agreeing to receive our assistance: ‘Isn’t there some other family that is more in need than we are?’ Rim, who has a two-year old boy, was quite concerned that the boy’s cold would worsen, and she was very touched by the help that we were able to provide! It was exactly the same amount of money that her husband had given away a week earlier to a colleague who was in need. It had taken the couple a long time to save up that amount of money, but they had said to each other: ‘God will take care of us!’”

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