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Saturday, February 16, 2013
More and more dramatic news continues to arrive from a land wearied by a conflict that spares no one. They invoke a truce as Christians and Muslims pray together with the Time-Out prayer.

“The cannonades and aircraft flyovers make connections difficult. The situation on the ourskirts of Damascus is also becoming more dramatic. Just listen to the repeated cannon shots even at night, to realize that we have not yet gotten to the word peace! Yet, we continue to hope for it. And we pray for it. I heard from Rim who proposed the Time-Out for Peace to his students, most of them Muslims, in a centre where they are staying and learning to be tailors.

The other night I telephoned Maryam from Hom, to see if there was any news from there because I hadn’t been able to reach her for some time. She agreed with me that an intervention from God was needed, so that we wouldn’t lose the faith. She has been living in a nearby village where she fled ten months ago. Her parent’s house is gone, but her elderly father doesn’t know, it would be too much for him. Maryam’s son has returned from Raqqa where he had been studying at university, becuase the situation there has also grown worse. She told me that at the end of the month they will have to leave the house they have been renting, and where shall they go?

Today I spoke with Luna from Aleppo who informs me that together with Marah, Yasmina and some friends they have put up a small business from their home (marmalade, doilies and such) and they would like to find a way to sell these products. She says: ‘Many people like us are grateful if we receive help in buying bread or a few litres of gas oil for the heating, but we want to work!’

I was immediately reminded of the road blocks and the risk of being robbed, but I assured her that we wouldn’t let the idea fall by the wayside. I’ve known Luna for some time and not surprised by her determination. I aslo know her brother Nader and his family, two splendid and intelligent little boys.

Up until two years ago Nader and his father ran one of the most well-known carpentry businesses in the city, with products that were artistically excellent. For nearly six months they’ve been without work. Luna tells me: ‘If we don’t find some other way to support our families, we will also have to go and knock on the door of the churches for help!’

What shameful words they teach in the schools: ‘Si vis pacem para bellum’ (if you want peace prepare for war)! ‘If you want peace prepare human beings’ I would say, human beings who think in terms of brotherhood, justice, sharing of goods, love and true freedom.

“The Latin Rite bishop is saying that at least two generations will be needed for the wounds of this war are healed – and that is only if the war ends it quickly. Many here are convinced that the only reason for all of this is economical and political.”

“Many would like to do something to put a stop to these senseless and malicious projects. But then there are also those – and they are not few – who joing together to pray not only at twelve o’clock for the Time-Out for peace that was launched by the Focolare Movement. They try to spread the Time-Out among friends and acquaintances during chance meetings and with people of all religions.”

fonte: Città Nuova

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