Aleppo man sits with his pipe amidst his destroyed home. Consolation in the new normal

More from Aleteia

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia

Subscribe

Aleteia

Consolation in the new normal

Photo by Joseph Eid - AFP
Share

Photo of the Day: April 28, 2017

Life in war torn Aleppo

ALEPPO, Syria – 2017: Mohammed Mohiedin Anis, or Abu Omar, 70, smokes his pipe as he sits in his destroyed bedroom listening to music on his vinyl player (gramophone) in Aleppo’s formerly rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood.

This image, titled Unchanged, is one of the most haunting to come out of the struggle in Aleppo, which has plagued the ancient city for more than 4 years.

Now, after the fighting has ended, the people of Aleppo have a new struggle, that of rebuilding their lives and finding a way to cope with the trauma.

Aleteia’s John Burger covered this process of societal reconstruction:

“The situation is chaotic but full of hope for the first time,” said Father Andrzej Halemba, head of the Middle East section for the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. “You could sense a certain jubilation. Young people were playing football, thinking about an upcoming tournament. They were asking me if they can restore the basketball field.”

Father Halemba recently was in Aleppo, where the Syrian military, with assistance from Russian forces, had wrested control over the rebel-held eastern sector in late December.

The youth he met there were not the only sign of a renewed hope for a city that had become a living hell in the waning months of 2016. “We have more and more questions on how we can go back to Aleppo from Lebanon or other parts of the Middle East,” Father Halemba said.

Aid to the Church in Need is coordinating with other relief agencies to help rebuild the devastated city, providing funds to rebuild housing and feed the malnourished. The Vatican is trying to assist as well. Pope Francis sent Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, acting secretary of the Vatican’s new Congregation for Integral Human Development, to Aleppo January 18-23.

Cardinal Mario Zenari, papal nuncio to Damascus, is launching a project to rebuild Catholic hospitals in Aleppo. Like other hospitals, they are struggling mightily to treat the many wounded and traumatized.

“I’m waiting for His Eminence to meet with the Pope, and then we can see what we can do for these hospitals,” Father Halemba said.

Without denying the material hardships, though, simply the fact that the city is secure is a tremendous morale-booster. Alleppians “welcome peace and are so happy to not hear mortars and low-flying military jets and so on,” the Polish priest said.

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia Image Department
A Mass for Marriage in England
Aleteia Image Department
The Old Zuni Mission
Aleteia Image Department
The marathon-running priests
Aleteia Image Department
Jubilee of Altar Servers!
Aleteia Image Department
The profession of perpetual vows
Aleteia Image Department
Pope Francis’ new space suit!
Aleteia Image Department
Memento mori
Aleteia Image Department
A 21st Century Abbey
Aleteia Image Department
Saved from the ashes
Aleteia Image Department
Pope Francis and the boys
Aleteia Image Department
Corpus Christi procession in Rome
Aleteia Image Department
The joy of marriage
Aleteia Image Department
Adoremus in aeternum
Aleteia Image Department
King of the Mountain
Aleteia Image Department
Scouts in Adoration
Aleteia Image Department
Twin brothers become twin priests
Aleteia Image Department
Let the children play!
Aleteia Image Department
In prayer and memory
Aleteia Image Department
Roses and smiles
Aleteia Image Department
“Welcome, Bishop Conley!”
Aleteia Image Department
Celebrate the 8th – Ireland
Aleteia Image Department
LIFEFEST UK 2018
Aleteia Image Department
The Blessed Mother in Thailand
Aleteia Image Department
A beautiful day in the Vatican
Aleteia Image Department
A future pope?
Aleteia Image Department
37 Years ago today
Aleteia Image Department
March for Life UK
Aleteia Image Department
A joyful meeting!
Aleteia Image Department
The Fiesta de las Flores y Palmas
Aleteia Image Department
Praying for life in New York City
Aleteia Image Department
On top of the world
Aleteia Image Department
Hail Mary, full of Grace…
Aleteia Image Department
“May the 4th be with you”
Aleteia Image Department
133 Years of perpetual Adoration
Aleteia Image Department
May, the month of Mary
Aleteia Image Department
Easter season in Siberia
Aleteia Image Department
The best medicine
Aleteia Image Department
Holy smokes!
Aleteia Image Department
Vestition
Aleteia Image Department
Pro-life Ireland
Aleteia Image Department
First Holy Communion in Ukraine
Aleteia Image Department
The cell of St. Faustina
Aleteia Image Department
The sun sets on Rio
Aleteia Image Department
Happy birthday, Pope Benedict!
Aleteia Image Department
Our Lady in Rome
Aleteia Image Department
Our Lady of the Gypsies
Aleteia Image Department
The new bishop in town
Aleteia Image Department
The Divine Mercy
Aleteia Image Department
A prayer of thanksgiving
Aleteia Image Department
Holy Week at the Gulf of Naples
Aleteia Image Department
Our Lady in China
Aleteia Image Department
The Way of the Cowboy Priest
Aleteia Image Department
Easter Vigil in the Congo
Aleteia Image Department
Via Crucis on the lake
Aleteia Image Department
Via Crucis – St. John Paul II
Aleteia Image Department
Called to serve – Holy Thursday
Aleteia Image Department
Fatima at 90 years
Aleteia Image Department
Palm Sunday in Nicaragua
Aleteia Image Department
Antonio Banderas in Malaga
Aleteia Image Department
ON LOCATION: Jim Caviezel
Aleteia Image Department
Our Lady of Navigators
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]