04 June 2018

The parish priest of Aleppo presents a book on the new beginning of the city

On 31 May, Br Ibrahim Alsabagh presented the book "Come il mattino " in Rome. Stories of those who personally witnessed the new beginning of one of the oldest cities in the world destroyed by war.

Actuality and events

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New beginnings starting from faith and hope. Since 2011, Syria has been brought to its knees by war and by many deaths, including civilian ones. Despite this, we can see the first steps in a new story. This is what Br Ibrahim Alsabagh told of the city of Aleppo in the book "Come il mattino". With the cessation of hostilities in 2016, the religious realm has seen a new beginning.

Br IBRAHIM ALSABAGH, ofm
Parish of St Francis - Aleppo
"With this daily contact, with this unique dimension in suffering, we always unite with the charity of a mother to respond to people's basic needs. Understand the need and respond immediately, without delay, to these needs ".

Br Ibrahim is a Franciscan and has lived in Aleppo since 2014. He was born in Syria, at a time when the country was known for coexistence between religions. Returning to his country, he saw his countrymen lose everything. As a parish priest in Aleppo he saw the city destroyed by missiles. The presentation of the book took place in Rome on 31 May, and Br Ibrahim said that for a long time people did not believe that the bombing in Aleppo would ever end and, without knowing where to start rebuilding the city, the population was and still is in great need of help.

Br IBRAHIM ALSABAGH, ofm
Parish of St Francis - Aleppo
"It is useless to talk about reconstruction of houses, economy, work, without talking about a new beginning in people's hearts and without thinking about how to heal the heart. Only a heart that is healed and free, as Pope Francis says, can feel responsible and can give its best .This is why we must always start from the heart, from its conversion, from the healing of many hearts, to talk about a true rebuilding of society and of the whole country ".

Aleppo is one of the oldest cities in the world. After years of war, what remains of it are destroyed buildings and businesses and closed schools. Thousands of inhabitants have already left the city and those left behind must face the difficulty of looking after their family. Br Ibrahim pointed out that, in the midst of this struggle, something concrete must be achieved to talk about hope. This is how the Franciscans, together with other Church institutions, work in this process of reconstruction. There are tangible signs that Aleppo has a future.

Br IBRAHIM ALSABAGH, ofm
Parish of St Francis - Aleppo
"There will always be hope. Hope is the fixed point, above all for us Christians. No one is allowed to despair. Nobody is allowed, even in a very hard and difficult reality, not to keep faith in the possibility that the future can be much better ".

A situation that is dear to Pope Francis too. The parish priest of Aleppo met the Pope and said that the Pope always prayed for peace in the country. Countless times during his pontificate he has asked the faithful around the world to pray for the end of the conflict in Syria, in addition to invoking a peaceful negotiation on the part of the international community. The love of the Holy Father for the people of the Middle East has further encouraged Br Ibrahim to return and participate in this process of rebirth.