Posts Tagged: Syria

Syria

Weekend Watch: “Salam Neighbor” & “50 Feet From Syria”

Next week, we’ll be re-running “The Refugee Journey”, a series of posts that help us understand how we can be share Christ and our homes with refugees… but before we begin, we’re going deeper into the difficult life of refugees with these documentaries on Netflix. 50 Feet From Syria “50 Feet From Syria” is the story of a doctor serving the casualties of this conflict from the Syrian border. Caution: There are graphic images of injuries in this video and in the trailer below.   Salam Neighbor Follow the story of  two Americans who move temporarily into the Za’atari Refugee Camp…

Building “Bridges” in Greece

Many are looking at the refugee crisis negatively, but we believe it is giving us a great opportunity to reach people who wouldn’t have the chance to hear the Gospel if they weren’t on the move through Greece. Recent headlines have been full of stories and photos of the over 4 million Syrian refugees, who have been fleeing the effects of the Syrian Civil War since 2011, and looking for new homes in countries across the world. Several aid and church organizations have been working to assist these displaced families… to help them find peace and hope. Thanks to the support of friends…

Life in Syria: Syrian Radio Host Speaks Out

Recently NPR’s Morning Edition spoke with Syrian radio personality Honey al-Sayed. A popular morning host, al-Sayed loved her job, until civil war broke out in the country and both sides of the fighting wanted her to be their mouthpiece. One morning she woke up and decided to leave the country–the pressure was too much. She had a visa to the U. S. and now lives in Washington, D. C. She continues to host a radio show via an online broadcast, to reach Syrians in the States and back home. Read the full story transcript or listen to the interview here. NPR…

Islam in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia Backs Rebels

A column in Reuters this week explores a recent move by Saudi Arabia to unite rival Islamist groups under a single Saudi-backed command. The move by Saudi Arabia to consolidate the rebel groups is in response to the rise of Al Qaeda in Syria. Rebel and diplomatic sources said it was Saudi Arabia which nudged rebel brigades operating in and around Damascus to announce this week that they have united under a single command comprising 50 groups and numbering some thousands of fighters. There are many layers to the conflict in Syria. This story helps explain which players in the Middle East…

Islam in Syria: A Civil War and Ramadan

As the civil war in Syria moves into year three, Muslims in the country or living as refugees outside its borders begin their holy month of Ramadan in less than a festive mood, notes The Associated Press. The fighting that has destroyed much of the country, combined with prices that have soared in recent months, have left many Syrians struggling to get by. “People come by the kitchen just begging for scraps, it tears the heart,” said an activist in the rebel-held northern Syrian city of Maarat al-Numan. Ramadan is a time of prayer and reflection for Muslims during which…

Islam in Syria: Life for the Hazara People

The story of the Hazara people group is like that of many persecuted peoples. The Atlantic recently ran a short feature on the plight of the Hazara now residing in war-torn Syria. Read the full story from The Atlantic here. The Hazara are Shia Muslims that trace their ancestry to Asia with one theory being that they descend from Mongol soldiers left behind in Afghanistan by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. They once were the majority in Afghanistan until large numbers were massacred in 1893, and today the Taliban continues to attack them. The largest number of Hazara live in Afghanistan…

Islam in Syria: Minaret of Ancient Mosque Destroyed

Al Jazeera reported that the minaret of the ancient Umayyad mosque in Aleppo, Syria has been destroyed, according to Syrian state media. Both sides of the fighting in Syria blame the other: Syrian rebels blame the army, while the state blames rebel fighters. The Umayyad mosque is currently in rebel control. Read the full story here . Aleppo’s largest and oldest mosque, Umayyad is situated in the city’s UNESCO*-listed Old City. It held various Islamic relics and ancient artefacts and is purportedly the home of the remains of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father. According to Al Jazeera, “both rebels and…

Islam in Syria: Shi’ite Fighters Defend Damascus Shrine

Shi’ite fighters from Iraq and Lebanon have joined Shi’ite Syrian fighters in southern Damascus to defend the shrine of Sayyida Zeinab against Sunni rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. According to a story from Reuters, the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas brigade was formed several months ago and fights mainly around the shrine. A Reuters’ source said “the brigade was set up in response to the perceived danger to the shrine and mosque from Sunni fighters who desecrated other places of worship for Shi’ites, who are a minority in Syria.” Read the full story here. The brigade is named after a “seventh century martyr…

Islam in Syria: Islamists Convey Clear Sense of Direction

“I had a shop,” one man told me, “but when the revolution came to Aleppo I couldn’t stock it, so I sold everything. Islamic youth organizations now give us flour. We need bread, at least, just to live. We support the Free Syrian Army, but the Islamists let us eat.” The New York Times published an op-ed on the gains of Islamists in Syria as the West remains disengaged in the conflict. Read the full op-ed here. The journalist author J. Malcolm Garcia notes that the West and moderate Arab nations should offer more hope to the Syrians who are ready…

Bosnian Muslim Walks to Mecca via Syria

A story from BBC News tells us about Senad Hadzic, a Bosnian Muslim that walked to Mecca via Syria. He walked 3,503 miles on his pilgrimage to Mecca, with part of the journey through war-torn Syria. From BBC News (26 October 2012): Senad Hadzic, 47, told the BBC that he spent several hours at the Syrian border haggling to get a visa. Later he had to negotiate his way through numerous checkpoints – some manned by the army, others by rebels. “Some of them even kissed the Koran I was carrying,” he said, adding that he also had a Bible in…

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