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Keyword: maaloula

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  • Spirit survives as Syrian city of Maaloula clears away the rubble

    09/24/2015 11:02:46 AM PDT · by CivilWarBrewing · 6 replies
    The Irish Times ^ | July 28, 2015 | Michael Jansen
    The 14th-century Christian town of Maaloula is rising again from the ruins and rubble of eight months of occupation by insurgents determined to obliterate churches, convents and Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus and his disciples. The streets of the newer quarters and narrow alleyways of the old city are clear of debris and charred wooden beams from collapsed buildings. Street lights glow orange on lamp posts although the electricity supply is fitful and uncertain. “Just like Damascus,” says municipal councillor Joseph Saadeh. I last visited Maaloula on April 15th, 2014, with a handful of other journalists taken by Syrian...
  • Someone Is Lying: Obama Says Not Arming Syrian Rebels, Syrian Rebels Say He Is

    05/28/2014 2:51:41 PM PDT · by george76 · 20 replies
    Zero hedge ^ | 05/28/2014 | Tyler Durden
    Obama is saying he is contemplating arming and training Syrian rebels (just the 'moderates' which will be identified by their smiles). However, as the following PBS Frontline documentary exposes, the Syrian rebels themselves say they are already armed and trained by US in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, "how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush." The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels, as PBS notes "it appears the Obama...
  • Syria's Assad Visits Recaptured Christian Village

    04/21/2014 6:17:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 28 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | 4/20/14 | Barbara Surk
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's president marked Easter with a tour Sunday of an ancient Christian village recently recaptured by his forces, state media said, as the country's Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that country's Christians "will not submit and yield" to extremists. Syrian state TV and the country's official SANA news agency said President Bashar Assad visited the hilltop hamlet of Maaloula, inspecting the damage done in recent fighting to its monasteries and churches. Rebels, including fighters from the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, seized Maaloula several times late last year, most recently in December. Government troops swept through the village on Monday,...
  • Syrian Christian Refugees Seek Return to Ancient Town After Government Recapture

    04/18/2014 6:38:47 AM PDT · by SJackson · 6 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | April 18, 2014
    JNS.org - Syrian Christian refugees from the ancient town of Maaloula are seeking to return to their home after it was recaptured by Syrian government forces this week. “I would love to go back and celebrate Easter there, but it’s still a bit early,” said Fadi Mayal, a former Maaloula resident who currently lives in Damascus’s Christian quarter, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported. “There are still sleeper cells in Maaloula,” Mayal said, referring to jihadist groups in the area. Maaloula, located 56 kilometers from Damascus, is an ancient Christian town where many of the residents still speak Aramaic, the same language...
  • How Assad Wooed the American Right, and Won the Syria Propaganda War

    09/10/2013 4:48:12 PM PDT · by Third Person · 56 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | September 9th, 2013 | David Kenner
    Even before President Barack Obama put his plans to strike the Syrian regime on hold, he was losing the battle of public opinion about military intervention. Part of the credit, no doubt, goes to a successful media blitz by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and its supporters. In an interview aired on Monday night, Assad himself advanced his government's case to Charlie Rose, saying that the United States had not presented "a single shred of evidence" proving the Syrian military had used chemical weapons. Assad has always been able to skillfully parry Western journalists' criticisms of his regime -- and,...
  • For Syrian Christians, protests are cause for fear

    04/24/2011 9:43:54 AM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 16 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | Saturday, April 23, 2011
    DAMASCUS, Syria — In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, Syria’s Christian community should have been busy preparing. This year, however, signs of festivities were hardly visible. Following anti-government protests that have been violently suppressed, leaving about 300 people dead, street parades and other forms of public celebration have been declared illegal by authorities. Meanwhile, fear is mounting among the nation’s Christians that the uprising that has rocked this tightly controlled country over the past month will bring them only misery. For decades, the government of President Bashar al-Assad has protected Christian interests by enforcing its strictly secular program...
  • Christians and Syria - Relationship between minority, dictator more complicated than portrayed

    09/17/2013 8:05:30 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies
    freebeacon.com ^ | September 17, 2013 | Alana Goodman
    The relationship between Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his country’s Christian minority is far more complex than the portrait drawn by Assad allies and opponents of a U.S. military intervention, according to Christians from the region and Middle East experts. Assad’s supporters often describe the Alawite leader as a protector and ally of Christians. Opponents of a U.S. strike have now picked up the argument, pointing to brutal attacks on Christians by rebel-allied jihadist groups as evidence that the West would be better off keeping Assad in power. But Assad’s critics say the anti-Christian violence by extremist opposition factions does...
  • Nuncio: “Syrians were moved by the participation of the whole world in their suffering”

    09/10/2013 5:58:25 AM PDT · by NYer · 6 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | September 9, 2013 | Catherine Harmon
    Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham, left, joins church leaders and worshipers in a prayer service at the Melkite patriarchate Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 7. (CNS photo/Khaled al Hariri, Reuters) As tens of thousands joined Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square for the prayer vigil for peace in Syria on Saturday evening—and even more watched on TV or streaming online—a similar event took place in Damascus’ Cathedral of the Dormition. AsiaNews has a report on the event: Interviewed by AsiaNews, Msgr. Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in Damascus, defines the Day of Prayer as an exceptional event...
  • Syrian Christians Targeted by Outsiders, Says Bishop

    09/21/2013 6:16:58 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 9/20/13 | Judith Sudilovsky
    Christians in Syria are continuing to be targeted by outside fundamentalist groups who have joined the country’s long civil war, the head of the Syriac Catholic Church in Jerusalem has said. Bishop Boutros Melki, Syriac Catholic patriarchal vicar, said Christians feared the situation in Syria will become like that in Iraq, where half the Christian population has fled since the American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In an interview with the American Catholic News Service, the bishop said the historic city of Maaloula, with its ancient churches and monasteries, became the site of fighting between rebel and government forces. Attacks against...
  • Syrian Rebels Continue to Plunder Christian Villages

    09/11/2013 6:22:28 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 22 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | September 11, 2013 | Nightwatch
    Japan-China: Two Chinese navy ships sailed through the international waters between Okinawa and Miyako in the Ryukyus. Yesterday two bombers flew between the two islands. Syria: The fighting has continued with no let up. The government has made small gains in multiple areas. However an al-Qaida-affiliated group of the al Nusra Front drove government forces from the village of Maaloula. This is one of the three villages in the world that still speak a variation of Western Aramaic, which is the language thought to be closest to the language spoken by Jesus of Nazareth. As occurs whenever a Christian village is captured,...
  • Al-Qaida-Linked Syrian Rebels Attack Regime-Held Christian Village

    09/05/2013 6:51:23 AM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 4 replies
    CNS News ^ | 09/05/2013 | By KARIN LAUB and ZEINA KARAM
    Syrian government troops battled al-Qaida-linked rebels over a regime-held Christian village in western Syria for the second day Thursday... The rebels launched the assault on the ancient Christian village of Maaloula — which is on a UNESCO list of tentative world heritage sites — on Wednesday after an al-Nusra fighter blew himself up at a regime checkpoint at the entrance to the mountain village. The four-decade iron rule of the Assad family over Syria long has rested on support from the country's ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, Shiite Muslims and Kurds. The Assad family and key regime figures are...
  • Syria: Al Qaeda-Linked Rebels Target Christians

    09/05/2013 8:42:09 AM PDT · by kronos77 · 6 replies
    Residents of a Christian village in western Syria have taken shelter in a convent as it was bombarded by al Qaeda-linked rebels. The rebel fighters stormed a hotel atop a mountain overlooking Maaloula to carry out the attack, said a nun, speaking on condition of anonymity from a convent in the village. "It's a war. It has been going from 6am in the morning," she said. Some 80 people took refuge in the convent, which houses 13 nuns and 27 orphans. A protest in Damascus against potential US stikes The dawn assault was carried out by rebels from the al...
  • St. Sergius Church - site of oldest altar

    06/07/2005 1:53:16 PM PDT · by NYer · 27 replies · 462+ views
    About our church here in Maaloula, it must be built before 325 A.D. for three reasons: Infact, the main and first proof is this altar inside made of marble; it has a border semi-circular which is a pagan architecture. Pagans used such borders in their altars to forbid the blood of sacrifices to go on the ground, so they used to make a hole in the middle to drain it properly; they used also to sculpt  or design on this border some illustrations of animals to be sacrified. The Church used this architecture at the beginning before it had its...
  • Christians Fearful Over US Syria Strike ("American Strike Will Destroy And Displace Us")

    09/10/2013 10:31:34 AM PDT · by 11th_VA · 17 replies
    al-monitor.com ^ | September 6, 2013 | Jean Aziz
    Voices were loud and tones were clear in the closed conference held Monday, Sept. 2, in a Christian monastery in Mount Lebanon, about 20 kilometers [12 miles] from Beirut. The participants included representatives of the 11 Christian churches in Lebanon, along with a number of Lebanese Christian intellectuals and politicians, including Al-Monitor’s correspondent. The hottest topic was about the fate of Syria and Lebanon’s Christians in light of a potential US strike against Damascus. One of the participating bishops addressed his fellow bishops and others with a sharp tone, saying, “Hear my words and take notes; the US strike on...
  • Syrian village is 'liberated' by rebels... who then forced Christians to convert to Islam

    09/09/2013 5:21:10 AM PDT · by NotYourAverageDhimmi · 17 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | September 8, 2013 | Mail Foreign Service
    Terrified Christians claim Syrian rebels ordered them to convert to Islam on pain of death when they ‘liberated’ their ancient village. Opposition forces, including fighters linked to Al Qaeda, gained temporary control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces. The reports have reignited fears about western support for the rebel groups, which are increasingly being infiltrated by Islamic extremists. One Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of whom had beards and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village.  ‘They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots...
  • Christians Flee Syria Village That Speaks the Language of Jesus

    09/09/2013 6:49:51 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 10 replies
    The Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 9/10/13 | Ruth Sherlock and Magdy Samaan
    Christians in Syria were fleeing one of the oldest Christian towns in the world on Sunday, after regime forces failed to win it back from Islamist rebel fighters.Rebel groups, including a branch of al-Qaeda, have taken control of Maaloula, one of the few remaining villages where the language of Christ is still spoken, residents and activists reported. “Our army, the Syrian army, has failed us,” said Sister Antoinette, a nun from Maaloula, claiming the regime had forsaken control of the town. “We called the army, we begged them to come inside Maalouola and save us but they stayed outside. They...
  • In the Syrian desert, the language of Jesus lives on

    07/30/2008 6:33:07 AM PDT · by rrstar96 · 7 replies · 260+ views
    Catholic News Service ^ | July 29, 2008 | Brooke Anderson
    MAALOULA, Syria (CNS) -- Aramaic, the language of Jesus that flourished in villages thousands of years ago, is being kept alive in the Syrian desert, about an hour's drive from Damascus. Today, Aramaic is spoken in Maaloula, an ancient mountainous town with two historic monasteries, Catholic and Orthodox, both built into the cliffs. Georgette Halabi, a tour guide at St. Serge Melkite Catholic convent in Maaloula, grew up speaking Aramaic. "I don't write it," she said. "But I want to learn." Local residents' Arabic education has never offered formal instruction in written Aramaic, but they have managed to pass down...
  • Patriarch tells pope of three “true martyrs” executed in Syria

    12/05/2013 2:26:55 PM PST · by NYer · 8 replies
    The Deacon's Bench ^ | December 5, 2013 | Deacon Greg Kandra
    Details: The Syrian Greek-Catholic Church has three “true martyrs”. They are the “three men from Maaloula who refused to repudiate their faith,” and were killed for this reason, said Patriarch Gregory III Laham during his meeting with Pope Francis on Sunday, this according to a press release issued by the Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkites.The events that led to the three men’s death occurred during fighting on 3 -7 September in the town of Maaloula.According to eyewitness accounts, men from the Syrian Free Army and the Jabhat al-Nusra Islamic Front...
  • Syria: Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch says Muslims killed three Christians for refusing…

    12/04/2013 4:03:28 AM PST · by markomalley · 22 replies
    Jihad Watch ^ | 12/4/2013 | Robert Spencer
    And as those three men were confronted with the choice of Islam or death, the Muslim neighbors of the Christians of Maaloula terrorized them: "According to what the families who fled from Maaloula had to say, some of their Muslim neighbours took part in the attack that devastated this historic village where people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus."The above photo and caption are from the June 19, 2013 New York Times. It illustrates how the call to jihad can override all existing loyalties -- such that a Syrian Alawite can suddenly be murdered by his Sunni friend. There...
  • Syria rebels capture Christian town of Maalula

    12/03/2013 5:09:43 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    This file picture taken on June 29, 2009, shows a general view of the Christian Syrian village of Maalula, 60 kms north of Damascus. AFP PHOTO Syrian rebels, including jihadist groups, captured the historic Christian town of Maalula north of Damascus Dec. 2, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Rebels assaulted the town by rolling explosive-filled tyres down the hills onto regime forces and were able to reach the city centre after three days of intense fighting, with clashes still raging in the surrounding areas. The picturesque town is considered a symbol of the ancient Christian presence in Syria,...