Thanksgiving From Aleppo: “You Are Giving Us Hope!”
Your support gives families the encouragement they need to walk on through economic crisis.
As bombs rained destruction on the Syrian city of Aleppo, 37-year-old Micheline realized she had to flee or put her three children’s lives in danger.
“One day the shelling was getting stronger so I decided to take the kids and run away. It was very painful to leave our home, our memories and our life behind.”
As they fled, Micheline’s husband was hit by a shell and badly wounded. He was rushed to a hospital where doctor’s expected he would lose his leg.
“Thank God, he didn’t” Micheline remembers. “Today my husband is still able to move, but he has no feeling in his toes. My husband stayed for six months, bedridden, and we stayed without income. We couldn’t take care of our children. We pay a lot of rent for the place we live and try hard to secure some money for food.”
A Dire Situation
This is the overwhelmingly common struggle of the Aleppo people, where injury, poverty, and a scarcity of jobs make survival difficult, and often impossible.
“I can tell you…not a family in Aleppo can live and continue to feed and raise their children without help,” says Samer in a city in northern Syria. His family is one of more than 17,000 families that get monthly food assistance from local churches Open Doors partners with to bring aid.
Before the war, Samer lived in a village in the countryside between Aleppo and Idlib and worked at a gas station.
“The militants surrounded our village; we did not feel safe. I have two daughters, and I was afraid for them. We fled to Aleppo but then they laid siege there, too.”
Today, Aleppo is fully under control of the Syrian government, and the security situation has improved dramatically. Samar now works at a gas station, but even as one of the lucky ones to have a job, survival is tenuous.
“I don’t receive a high salary, about 60 U.S. dollar a month, and half of it goes to the rent of the place we live,” Samer says. “I try to do my best, but prices are increasing. So for me, the food supply I receive from Open Doors helps us to live here. I want to thank you personally. Thank you. I know that the continued assistance you provide gives us hope we can stay here in our dear country.”
Standing in the Midst of Adversity
To help get food and resources to those who need it most, Open Doors is partnering with churches and organizations in Aleppo, such as the Syriac Orthodox Church in Al-Hasakah, helping families with food, hygiene packs and fuel.
“The people need help dramatically,” a priest at the church says. “They are very tired; some are even in despair. With this help, we give people strength to continue. With your support and assistance, we try to help them as much as we can. Thank you for everything you are doing for these people.”
Another Aleppo priest explains that many families “are in great need of food and other relief items. People have to pay a lot to purchase electricity from privately owned generators and to purchase water as well. Most people have no job and hence no income to support their families. Aleppo is suffering an economic crisis, and the prices are forcing the inhabitants of Aleppo to run away. This might lead to new emigration.”
Your support gives mothers like Kafa the encouragement to go on. Three years ago, her husband was kidnapped while traveling with a friend in Syria. The kidnappers demanded a ransom for the release of the two men. Although the ransom was paid, the men have not been released and have been missing since. Kafa now lives with her two children and elderly father-in-law.
“To lose my husband and to see my kids growing up without their father as if they were orphans is very difficult,” Kafa says. “I thank God that I now live with my 70-year-old father-in-law. We survive on the food aid we receive from you; your help came just in time. I thank you for helping us, I thank God that there are still people of God around the world who are standing with us.”