The Trappist nuns from Syria: “Give us a hand not to make ‘hope’ too difficult a word for the Syrians.”

from Azeir, Syria, 8 June 2020

We don’t know what to say anymore. What to say again, after so many words of many, and authoritative words! which, at least apparently, do not have the strength to change anything.

We had hoped that, in Europe, the experience of precariousness, the experience of life threatened so from one day to the next, the experience of death so close, would make us understand a little more what it meant for many Syrians to live eight, nine years, with death walking beside them, in the street, with the idea of leaving home without knowing if you would return if you would see your children again.

But also, no less dramatically, the effort to work, to give the necessary to one’s family, the anguish of finding oneself without a job and with a closed future…..Of course, when you’re in it, it’s enough to think about your problems…But… instead, they have been RENEWAL, ANCHORMORE AND MORE, THE SANCTIONS TO SYRIA.

To Syria, it means to Syrians: people, like me and like you, men, women, children. Not to politicians, not to leaders. Sanctions are against people.
Of course, those who decide to impose them know it well: exasperate the people to bring down those who govern, where they have failed with weapons. But is it moral to use the suffering of the people to make politics?
Let’s open our eyes! Now that this system is becoming more evident also in Italy (by leveraging the fear of the disease, for those who want to see it…) can choices like the sanctions applied to other countries still be tolerated? We Italians, who see what we are suffering from Europe, can’t we really be in solidarity with countries that suffer sanctions, to understand how unfair this system can be for people?

What can be done? At least, be sensitive, understand the problem, understand the DRAMMA of these people. So, if somebody launches another appeal tomorrow to lift the sanctions, at least agree, sign, support the cause… UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM.

Those who impose sanctions can do so by relying on a system that justifies it. Let’s take away this consent to such actions, let’s weaken the consent to this way of managing politics and economy… It is not true that we cannot do anything. We can start thinking with our own head, keeping the MAN before our eyes and not the interest of a few. If we do this, it will already be a lot.

We, from here, even though we are in the monastery, realize that there are those who try to take other paths, a “humanistic economy” that has at its base values of culture, morals, a vision of man. Please, participate in these new paths, inform yourselves, collaborate to change this system that seems unassailable, but in reality, it is not. It depends on each of us. Why do we, nuns, write about this? Because the people around us are literally starving to death. Of sickness. Not because of the virus! But because they can’t find “normal” medicines anymore, for diabetes, for blood pressure, for tumors, for the heart.. Because the pharmacies have been closed for a week because the medicine factories are no longer able to import raw materials and no longer manufacture…

Because the Syrian lira is devalued from hour to hour, two days ago a dollar was worth 2000 lire (at the beginning of the year 650 !), yesterday 2500, today 3000! From 500 lire in 500… a kilo of sugar 1400 lire? when a monthly salary is. to go well. 60,000 lire? The shopkeepers who don’t sell their stocks anymore, because they’re being devalued from hour to hour… Then it’s a wonder that people manage to get by as well as they can? We try to supplement the inflation of our workers’ wages. but it’s difficult. Paralyzed banks in Lebanon, the economic system stopped. Difficult to get help.

Try to realize this, we know that there are many problems, even in Italy. But thinking doesn’t cost anything, on the contrary… It’s an investment for everyone, in terms of humanity…Try to be ready, when some opportunity presents itself to make a difference, at least in thought. Are all the problems in Syria due to sanctions? No, of course not. There are a lot of responsibilities, even internal ones. As you can imagine, the time after the armed war is more difficult. Now there’s an economic war going on, a war of dividing up areas of power, economic privileges, influence over the territory… Those who were against Syria continue to be against it and do not give up in putting pressure: like the terrorists (supported by whom?) who still burn the wheat fields in the north of the country…

Those who were with Syria, now claim their share… Even the internal political-economic system, which has resisted with all the right to defend the sovereignty of the country, now risks putting this same sovereignty at stake if it does not take proper care of the suffering of the people as a whole… If it does not fight corruption, if it does not promote growth, in short, if it does not take charge of the interests of the country by helping all the citizens.

And if we have to be honest it is not clear, at least for us people outside every “circuit” of interest, to understand what is really moving around and within Syria and the Middle East at the moment.
But at least let’s not burden this situation further! Let us intervene, at least as far as sanctions are concerned… Many have asked for it, now, we join, once again, we too …

In these days we met a beautiful reality, a very active parish in the town of Rahble, in the Qseir area (yes, for those who followed is where there was a hard and long war with the rebels). A generous parish priest, a beautiful group of young people from high school and University… We told them that yes, it is worth resisting, that we must seek the strength and resources within ourselves… It is useless to follow the myth of going somewhere else…
But, give us a hand too, from there, not to make hope too difficult a word for them!

From  the Trappist sisters from Syria
Versione in italiano:


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