Christians in Syria divided on returning
A bad day for Selma. Today, the Syrian mother of three children had to watch her oldest son leave for Lebanon. “My son had to go because of the difficulties. It was hard to say goodbye,” she says, fighting back tears as she washes a few coffee cups. “I don’t know when I will see him again. I was only able to give him some money for the trip. Not even something to eat. He has to walk the last leg. I will send him his clothes later.” Her story mirrors the current situation of many Christians in Syria.
The family fled when the crisis began in 2011 and terrorists descended upon the homes of Christians in Idlib. “They hammered against the doors to let us know that we had to leave because they wanted the houses. Who? We had never seen them before. They shot their guns into the air to frighten the people. Everyone packed up their belongings and left.” Since then, the family has been living with Selma’s mother Johaina in the Valley of the Christians in western Syria. When Selma’s husband died in a car accident three years ago, from one day to the next, the family had lost its breadwinner and its entire savings. Her son, 16 years old at the time, suddenly had to support the family by himself.
Image: Syria, Homs, June 2018. A Christian walks in the old quarter of the city of Homs (Syria) with graffiti that expresses the desire of the birds to take refuge in another safe tree, a metaphor for the city at war.