Wed

24

Apr

2013

Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Remembering the 98th anniversary (24/04/2013) of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Turks. This post provides a glimpse into the lives of Syria's ethnic Armenian community today.

Above: A haunting image from the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the caption reads: “Crucified Armenian women in the region of Der-es-Zor (Modern day Syria). Some women were saved–as here in the picture–by Arab Bedouins who took them back down from the cross.”

 

Today the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der-es-Zor is in ruin as are all the churches in Der-er-Zor, a city under rebel control.

 

Western-Backed Wahhabi Terrorists Wipe Out Christian Church in Deir Ezzor, Syria

Short video news report on the distruction of the Latin (Roman Catholic) Church in Der es Zor. View here.

Armenian Catholic priest Fr. Michel Kayyal Kidnapped by Terrorists 09/02/2013

Armenian Catholic priest Fr. Michel Kayyal, Kidnapped by terrorists 09/02/2013
Armenian Catholic priest Fr. Michel Kayyal, Kidnapped by terrorists 09/02/2013

Vidoe footage of Fr. Michel Kayal's ordination day November 2nd 2011. View here and photos here.

Two priests kidnapped by the rebels

Article from the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service, Fides

 

The fate of the two priests Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Maher Mahfouz (Greek Orthodox) kidnapped by a group of armed rebels on Saturday, February 9 on the road that leads from Aleppo to Damascus remains unknown. Read here.

Wall Street Journal reports -Christian Armenians flee Syria. “They (the rebels) are forcing us to come out from Syria”

Christian Armenians flee Syria for Yaravan, Armenia.
Christian Armenians flee Syria for Yaravan, Armenia.

Short video news report from the Wall Street Journal.

More than six thousand Christian Armenians from Syria have poured into Armenia in recent months, escaping the conflict in the land of their birth.  The report by Joe Parkinson can be viewed here

"Syrian Fall of the Arab Spring" Aleppo's Armenian community in their own words.

Syrian Fall of the Arab Spring", a half hour documentary by Arman Saghatelyan, the deputy head of PanArmenian Media Group, who recently visited Aleppo in Syria to present to a wider audience the real picture of the latest developments there, presented with English subtitles:

Armenian Documentary: Little Hearts, Great Suffering - About the Children of Aleppo, Syria

This mini-documentary in Armenian, with English subtitles, shows how the ongoing war in Syria's northern city of Aleppo affected the city's children from the Armenian-Syrian community. Having to cope with the sound of loud explosions, falling shells, injuries, and the sight of dead people, the ugliness of war left children traumatized and robbed them of their childhood.

Other Viewing

Armenian-Syrian elderly man kidnapped by Islamist FSA is forced to convert to Islam. Short video clip with English subtitles. View here.

 

Demonstration on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Southern California. Arab Americans for Syria join the Armenian community to tell Turkey: 'Get your Hands off our Land.' View here

 

Syria - Free Syrian Army petrol bombed St. Gevorg’s Armenian Church and library in Aleppo leaving the building destroyed. View here.

 

UPDATE

Rebels attack a civilian bus convoy transferring Armenians. (24/07/2013)

The attack took place about 30km from Aleppo and left several dead and many injured. Among the dead and injured were 18 Armenians including Tamar Siruyan a mother of two who was killed.  

Mother of two, Tamar Siruyan, former head of administration at the National School of Aleppo who was killed in the civilian bus attack.
Mother of two, Tamar Siruyan, former head of administration at the National School of Aleppo who was killed in the civilian bus attack.

A video uploaded by rebels of their attack on the convoy of buses.

Note: Attacks by rebels on civilian busses are a common occurrence. 

 

28 Comments

Sat

13

Apr

2013

In Aleppo Christians fleeing rebel-held areas

A fatwa "authorizes" to rape women who are not Sunni

 

Article from the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service, Fides.

Special mass offered in Aleppo for displaced families from Mount Ms. Sheikh Maqsood district. 11/04/2013
Special mass offered in Aleppo for displaced families from Mount Ms. Sheikh Maqsood district. 11/04/2013

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - The conquest of the district of Cheikh Maksoud by the anti-Assad militia which took place in recent days could mark the fate of Aleppo, the metropolis battered for months by a bloody civil war. "That neighborhood" confirms to Fides Agency Father David Fernandez, a missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word - is located on a hill overlooking Aleppo and is a strategic point for those who want to conquer the central area of the city, where there are also government buildings. I am told that already many downtown streets have been closed and noboby can pass through these streets, because from the buildings snipers shoot at everything that moves."


In Cheikh Maksoud, Christians once represented the majority. In recent years the Kurdish population had become dominant, but many Christian families were still gathered around the Armenian Catholic and the Greek-Orthodox Church.


Father David confirms to Fides that in the past days more than three hundred Christian families have fled the area captured by the rebels. "At least 120 Christians" says the priest, "have found refuge in the house of the Marist Brothers." Among the fugitives, news about murders and rapes of women perpetrated against families who were linked to the army government circulate. "Even I have heard of this," says Father David, "but the information we receive is a lot and sometimes contradictory, and for the moment there is no way of verifying it."


Yesterday, through the social network youtube the fatwa issued by Yasir al-Ajlawni was released - A Jordanian Salafi sheikh - resident in Damascus – who declares lawful for opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad rape committed against "any Syrian woman not Sunni." According to the disturbing sheikh, capturing and raping Alawi or Christian women is not contrary to the precepts of Islam. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 05/04/2013).

Special mass offered for displaced families from Sheikh Maqsood

On Thursday, April 11, 2013 a special mass was offered for the families displaced from Sheikh Maksoud, they were forced to flee their homes when the district was overrun by armed rebels. After the Liturgy several associations distributed material, medical and food aid to these families.

See also: Mariam

 

20 Comments

As-Salaam-Alaikum

Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Sunni Grand Mufti of Lebanon - “Christians’ fears nowadays over their presence and their dignity in the Middle East are right and justified”

H.B Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - The West and other countries are helping to foment conflict in the Middle East "there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests"

H.E Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council Lebanon - Called on the U.S to “work on giving people their freedom in Syria by refraining from supporting radical Islamists and criminals who are killing innocent people and violating their freedoms.

 H.B. Gregorios III Laham, Melkite greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - "Every day Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them."

H.H. Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (R.I.P.) - "Syrians are the only ones who will decide their destiny, and that decision will be taken in Damascus, not in a European country."

H.H. Mor Ignatius Ephrem II Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -  “Christians and Muslims alike are exposed to a terrorist war in the region”.... the Patriarch denounced the silence of the world regarding crimes committed by armed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch - "We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."

H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, “Who appointed them [United States] as ‘policemen of democracy’ in the Middle East? ”

H.E. Maroun Laham, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan  - “This interest, on the part of the United States or of Europe, for human rights or for the defence of the weak, no one believes. No one believes it!,”

H.E. Jacques Behnan Hindo,  Syriac Catholic Archbishop ofHassaké-Nisibi (northeastern Syria) - Regarding the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabuis “Please excuse my expression. They are screwing all Syrians

H.E. Theodosius Hanna, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia (Nablus, Palestine) - "Will the displacement of Christians from Syria, their killing and slaughter and the destruction of their churches lead to an alleged democracy?"

Rev. Georges Massouh Antiochian Orthodox priest and director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon. "It goes without saying that Christians in Syria do not consider themselves greater or more important that their Muslim partners in the one nation. They find themselves in solidarity with all the people of Syria, in the calamities that they share and the strikes that fall upon all their heads."