This article has been originally published on S4C News.
In Syria there is no Christian persecution, no immediate threat, and in the most parts of the country peace has been re-established. However the hardships of the war hasn’t vanished yet, that is why the situation requires outside help in order to restore the Middle-Eastern country. Among many Hungary is one of those helpers with the Hungary Helps Program (HHP) which helps the restoration and education.
In Spirit FM Magyarország segít! Program has invited Adonis Kassab, the Syrian-Hungarian journalist of Vasárnap.hu, who talked about the Middle-East, situation of the Syrian Christians, the programs in Syria aided by the HHP and his personal stories.
As Adonis Kassab told, his family, his far and close relatives and friends are living in Syria.
„That place is our home. At the moment the biggest problem is not the war, but the lack of medicines, foods and fuel supplies”
– he said, adding, that the country has survived the war, but the population suffered during the last decade.
“Most of the Syrians think, that they want to live in their homeland. During the war the Christian Quarter of Damascus survived, however those cities and villages destroyed by ISIS, the al-Nusra Front and other radical groups, the water supply, electricity, the lack of material for heating, food supplies, lack of education are the hardships of the people” – said the journalist of Vasárnap.hu.
The next question was that how can and could the HHP help in Syria, Adonis Kassab answered: „As I am aware, Syria received the biggest aid, not accidentally, because the health care system of the country has been grinded to the dust. Seventy- eighty percent of the hospitals are not functional. Those hospitals that are still able to operate, are under huge pressure, there are a lot of sick people and injured because of the war. It is very important, that those hospitals that are able to operate, do receive outside help.
The HHP financed the maintenance and operation of those hospitals which are run by the church for a whole year in Aleppo and Damascus.
In the program, it became clear that mostly NGOs helped in Syria.
“That is why the HHP is so unique. It is very important to mention, that the Hungarian aid is not only financial support, but also spiritual as well. People living there regardless of religion feel that several thousand miles away people think about them, and even if the aid is a moderate amount, that help is more important and precious to them” – underlined Adonis Kassab, then mentioning that the HHP – besides the restoration of hospitals – aided building schools, orphanages and educational institutes.
The journalist told that the Hungarian Government, via the HHP, gives scholarship to people from the Middle-East and Syria in Hungarian higher education institutes. The aim of those scholarships is that students receive sufficient knowledge in Hungary in order to return to Syria and take part in the restoration of the country.
Adonis Kassab pointed out that the Syrian Orthodox Church started a project to rebuild the homes of families that are willing to return.
“This is also from the HHP, because from the Hungarian aid they could rebuild more than a hundred homes in that Homs, which has been destroyed completely during the war. Everyone knows, that there is a small country in the middle of Europe, that gives a huge help and by that, also strength. Hungary supports the reconstruction of Syria, and also supports the people to remain in their homeland” – said the journalist of the Vasárnap.hu.