Due to corporate media’s misrepresentation of Syria, some may be surprised to know that Syrians—suffering terribly under nearly five years of the foreign war on their country—are also celebrating Christmas from Damascus to Homs to Aleppo. Glittering displays, street Santas, choirs singing carols and people singing Jingle Bells, and tacky, exuberant Christmas parades are not unique to the West.
However, most Syrians I have met who are celebrating any religion’s holy day do so with heavy hearts—the loss of loved ones to NATO’s terrorists dampens festive spirits. But they also celebrate with a determination not to be cowed into submission or nonexistence, and not to allow their children to forget traditions.
Re-visiting Syria last week, I spoke with Syrians about Christmas preparations and the situation in Syria. I visited a number of churches in Damascus and Homs. Although the unholy war on Syria persists, some of the areas ravaged by the NATO/Zionist/Gulf’s death squads but secured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) are coming back to life.
Homs: Celebrations After So Much Sorrow
Rather than home to a “revolution” Homs was home to an infiltration of the most sadistic terrorists, who (as elsewhere in Syria) over their unwanted two plus year-stay not only killed, maimed and stole from Homs residents, but also targeted, and in many cases destroyed, Christian heritage and relics, including many churches in the Old City.
When I visited in June 2014, after the terrorists had been extracted from most of Homs, the destruction and vandalism I saw were immense. Even back then, as soon as the terrorists were gone, Old City residents were already returning in trickles to begin the cleanup and think about re-building their lives.
Now, a year-and-a-half later, while immense reconstruction remains, there was a significant improvement. I saw new shops opened, and saw homes, stores, streets, and churches decorated in the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas lights dangled over Old City lanes and in church courtyards. A friend from Homs later sent me photos of the streets lit up at night, and of the once-burned St. Mary’s Church (Um al-Zinnar) now repaired and decorated, and filled with worshippers, a youth choir and band.
At the Old City’s Jesuit Church, new portraits of Dutch priest, Father Frans van der Lugt, assassinated in April 2014 by the West’s “moderate” terrorists. The church also had a simple Christmas tree and home-made nativity scene, the grotto walls of which were made of crumpled brown paper.
Two well-known restaurants, which suffered differing degrees of destruction, have been re-opened. Beit al-Agha, greatly-damaged by the terrorists, is now coming back to life, although repairs are still needed. Al-Bustan restaurant, which was completely ravaged, is fully re-built and open to customers. Photos from al-Hamidiya Community Facebook page show a packed restaurant during Christmas, and dancing at night. The page shows celebrations in the different churches and streets of old Homs.
(*last photo is from internet )
In Saha al-Majaa, an Old City square, I saw six locals adding finishing touches to the Christmas tree they’d crafted using scavenged and bought materials. In a nearby room, full-size nativity scene figures, made of sponge and cloth and other basic materials were stored until the display went up. Neighbourhood residents had chipped in for fabric, bought from Tartous.
“Come, tomorrow at 5 pm and you’ll see the finished display,” I was invited, but didn’t have the chance to get back. However, photos on social media show their creative efforts have paid off: in this square where despair was once deep, hope is flourishing anew.