Awareness Foundation

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

By Francesco Foti

Edited by Josie Child

This year was perhaps the first Christmas in Syria for a very long time that has been spent more or less peacefully. Images and videos painted a picture of normalcy, albeit a fragile one, being gradually restored. We could see people lighting candles and flocking to illuminated streets where social gatherings were concentrated around the nativity and the Christmas tree. We could hear church bells ringing and watch monasteries being illuminated and populated again like any other ones in Italy or Greece. For the ones who have followed the recent news about Syria, it has been a little comforting to see people enjoying these historic festivities.

However, a quite different picture comes from the international political realm, that of ever quarreling politicians and different political factions clashing, not just on the ground in certain areas in Syria, but at the institutional level too. This is where more subtle power clashes happen at the expense of the common good of the Syrians, signalling how peace can be sacrificed when it comes to profiting from the war and division. We see the supposed guarantors of peace and stability exploiting sectarianism in order to increase their leverage regionally. Syria is a peculiar mosaic of religious and cultural realities under one nationality, a beautiful diversity that should be preserved. This is the land of many prophets and many identities.