Pro Terra Sancta
The interview of Father Ibrahim Alsabagh, Parish priest of Aleppo Latin church, on the developement in the living conditions caused by Corona Virus
published on May 8; 2020
“We are going through a difficult stage of our life.” This is how Father Ibrahim, head of the Latin Parish in Aleppo, summarized in general the situation in his country, through a video interview with Pro Terra Sancta
Governmental sources confirm that the number of coronavirus infections in Syria has reached forty cases and this number is likely to increase. The danger lies in the weakness ability of the country to deal with such an epidemic, with the aim of limiting the possibility of its spread, the state has taken various decisions, such as, imposing a lockdown on the entire population during Evening and night periods, stop transition between governorates and between cities and country sides, as well as stop all social activities, and closing mosques and churches. Father Ibrahim considered that epidemic is an additional suffering added to what Syrians suffer of the remnants of the war that lasted nine years, and that the importance of the Corona virus crisis comes from being the entrance to an economic crisis and of famine that might strike the country.
The Franciscan friar does not hide the seriousness of the situation: “Everyone agrees that the current situation in consideration of the city of Aleppo is worse than what was under bombs.” The country in general is economically devastated and therefore the consequences of the crisis are really catastrophic … The cost of living has skyrocketed ascension, most of population cannot afford money to feed their families on bread and jam only, we may be heading towards the abyss, we do not know what the future holds for us. Beside we are surrounded by countries whose crises and sufferings are no less than ours, the borders are closed and there is no transfer between these countries nor any trade exchange.
People knock on the doors of the monastery, asking for help and assistance: We provide food aid baskets (for families and for children in particular), in addition to medical aid at cost of treatment and contribute to covering the surgical operations that have become very expensive; the friar reconfirm that “our major problem of nowadays is hunger, which is a risk click Our door every day louder than the previous day”. A while ago, we received in the Parish an exceptional cash donation so we distributed it to our families as a support amount to buy fuel (a hundred liters of diesel), but we confident people will spend it on purchasing food.
Faced with all this pain and turbulences, the friar witness the miracle that Jesus performed on the shores of the Sea of Galilee: “The miracle of multiplying the five loaves and the two fishes.” Father Ibrahim’s faith as well as the faith of the Christians of Aleppo never fade in front of any crisis, their confidence comes from the fact that “Jesus is Whoever guides our history, it is Alpha and Omega, we are intermediaries like the disciples, and like the disciples we entrust it to ourselves”
Father Ibrahim sends his supporters a message of hope, expressing his faith that the Lord will find ways to help his people and prevent them from hunger. He is confident in Divine care and relies on prayers, considering that one of miracles is that he witness it lately; that despite difficulties that Italians and other European citizens face, yet the generosity provided by Pro Terra Sancta has never stopped
the monk of Aleppo concludes his interview: “Your support towards us rejoices our hearts and helps us see the light at the end of tunnel. We sincerely thank you … Often I cannot respond to all the messages we receive from you, but I assure you that you are present in our hearts and in our prayers, and we pray for all humankind to rise up soon from this The nightmare”.