Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christians in Aleppo were happy this Christmas because it was the first time in several years that they could celebrate Christ's birth in their churches and cathedral.

According to well-informed sources contacted by AsiaNews, the people of Aleppo have celebrated with singing and dancing on the rubble strewn streets; in general there is an atmosphere of widespread joy, in spite of the ravages of war and the signs conflict that are visible everywhere.

However, the biggest victory for Aleppo is not the liberation of the city from jihadists and insurgents, which in four years failed to foster the support of the population, rather the total failure of their attempt to kill the spirit of tolerance and coexistence between religions and ethnicities. This is peculiar to Syria and especially its northern metropolis, and Jihadist extremism could not erase it.

In fact, in a sign of triumph Aziziya - the Armenian Christian Quarter of Aleppo - erected a giant Christmas tree, festively illuminating the streets. Moreover, yesterday evening a band, composed of Armenian youth dressed as Santa Claus, performed in the square to the delight of the entire population of the area. . . .

About one million people originally from Aleppo returned to the city after the liberation by the government forces, all ready to pick up their lives from where they were suddenly interrupted by jihadist groups. They want to rebuild, re-open businesses and factories, return the equipment stolen by militias and smuggled into Turkey. In the area there is an atmosphere of enthusiasm and dynamism, elements that have always characterized the people of Aleppo.