Sister Hatune speaks to some real refugees, from the center of the war in Syria
I just received a visit from a family from Syria, that has been living in Germany for about a year. A couple and two children. They come originally from Aleppo, and you know how difficult the situation is over there. The couple gave me a report, which we publish without their names and actual residence – because this would endanger the lives of their relatives in Syria.
All the family members are still in Aleppo, the parents, siblings, uncles and cousins. They are all Christians living in the western part of the city. This is controlled by the Assad regime, so it is relatively calm, yet. This is also the only supply road going in and out of the city. So many people from other parts of the city – Aleppo once had 2.3 Million inhabitants – are looking for some security to survive. At the same time, there are many attacks on that part, from all parties, because “Assad is protecting the Christians”, as many say.
HEARTS FULL OF HATE
“We had been wrong”, the husband says, “the government always told us, that it would be possible to live by side with our Muslim neighbors. But we didn’t know how much hate was in their hearts.” The cause for this hate is very clear for him: “It is the ideology of Islam, that has always been there. Until now, Syria has been a liberal state. Now, it will become an Islamic country, like Saudi- Arabia.”
His wife is getting sarcastic and sad, while she says: “The only advantage is, the neighbors are showing their true faces, they have taken off the mask. Now they are honest. Very openly, they say to our faces: “What are you still doing here!? If you don’t go now, you will go some day, but without your head!” Now they see us as strangers and second class humans, as Dhimmis. We have no hope of living as Christians in Syria ever again. Already from the beginning of the battle of Aleppo in 2012, the Muslims had the popular slogan: “Christians to Lebanon, Alawites into the grave.”
Nobody dares to leave the house; every trip could be the last one. You can buy groceries at very high prices. Aid is only provided by Christian NGO’s and the Christian church. Without them, all would be dead. What the family actually hears from their relatives, makes them sad. “It will surely get worse. The Muslims want to confiscate all the estate of the Christians. Right now the Islamic State controls the main part of the oil wells and real estate with agricultural production. Aleppo has no future, there is death everywhere.”
A year ago, the whole family put their financial resources for the escape of the husband. The aim was to take the children out of Syria. They paid €10.000 to a trafficker. Via Turkey, boat to Greece, three months in a camp there, the Balkans’ route on foot, through Croatia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria, he finally reached Munich.
In Germany, he first came to a reception camp. There he was soon approached by a man from Morocco, who claimed to be from Syria. “He said, we all had to get back to Syria, to liberate the country from the dirty unbelievers, the Kafir. I remained silent, to hide the fact, that I’m a Christian. Then, he showed me a video on his mobile phone, where a friend of him, also from Morocco, is killing a Christian. “This shall happen to every Kafir”, he said.”
The husband was granted asylum, after that he applied for family reunification. With the help of the German embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, this happened rather quickly. Since February, the whole family is living in Germany.
The wife is excited about that: “It is so good here, there is peace, food, the children go to school. In Syria, the children were at home only, without school. And we had frequent power breakdowns, up to three months.
YOU ARE A HERETIC
But the family has also experienced some difficulties in here: “Our town is full of Muslims, many of them wear the Salafi- style beards”, the husband says. “We do not dare to speak to anybody, that we do not know. We are still afraid, all the time.
Recently, I picked up our daughter from school. Some Muslim men approached me, they said: “Why are you not greeting properly in Arabic, Salam Aleikum? When I answered, that I am Christian, they spat on me and cursed me: “Jahudi Kafir!”, Jewish heretic.”
THERE ARE NO CHRISTIANS IN SYRIA!
His wife is also addressed like this. She reports: “You are Arabic! Why don’t you wear a veil!? other female refugees from Syria, Morocco, Algeria say to me. Even some Germans get agitated about this topic. In the hospital, a nurse asked me, where I came from. From Syria. Why I would wear no veil. Because I am Christian. That’s, where she got angry: “There are no Christians in Syria!”, she said.
Our daughter also had a bad experience, in the kindergarten, when she was six years old. Her best friend, a Muslim girl, who was very close to her for a long time, some day suddenly refused to talk with her and touch her, upon finding out that our daughter was Christian.”
At the end of the conversation, the family makes an appeal to the politicians in Germany. The wife says: “Please save the Christians in Syria. They have no future there, only death.” And her husband adds: “Please find a remedy for this cancer. Please believe us, the cause is in Islam. People, who live according to the Quran, bear hate in their hearts.”
God bless you all
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