Unlocking the potential of Syria's youth

The beauty of Aleppo is not lost in its ashes, but will rise with its future generation.

Image credit: Memorino. Frontal view on the Citadel of Aleppo.

Aleppo, Syria is one of the most ancient cities in the world, claiming continuous habitation since the 6th millennium BC. Rich in heritage and business, it was one of the largest cities in the Levant. Heartbreakingly, since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil war in 2011 it has been ravaged by door to door fighting, leaving houses in piles of rubble and forcing many of its occupants to flee. A recent break in the UN brokered truce has again brought violence to the city.

Seeing the suffering happening around him inspired Mohammad Issa to pursue a career that would put him in a position to help people. As he left Syria for Turkey, his mother said “Don´t forget who you’re. Don’t forget why we face so much sadness, and come back to us as a doctor so you can heal the broken bodies and souls of our people who are frail from the wounds of war. We don’t want you to just have a dream, we want you to make it true. Don’t forget that your family will always be there praying to God to keep you safe and to always guide you.”

These words of encouragement gave Mohammad enough strength to go on and work hard to seize the opportunity to act on his dreams and become a doctor. Now more than ever he feels a burning desire to return to his country to help those in need.

Near his house in Allepo, Syria.

The pain of Aleppo is felt by thousands of its residents and millions abroad as we watch lives being shattered along with the stone walls of the ancient city. Shrapnel destroys both homes and futures, carving deep wounds into the hopes and dreams of those wanting to live a life of peace and prosperity. We wonder “Is there no balm in Gilead?”.

The future of the city is held by its youth, many who have fled. When they return, there will be scars to heal and tears to dry. Invest in the future of those who will be doing that work. The beauty of Aleppo is not lost in its ashes, but will rise with its future generation.

Tags: Reconstruction , Refugees , Refugee Crisis , Syria , Youth

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