Photo Essay: Maaloula rises from the ravages of terrorism

Maaloula rises from the ravages of terrorism

Apr 19, 2014

 

Damascus, (SANA) After the dust of battles settled in Maaloula and terrorism was vanquished in the ancient town, the scale of damage wrought by terrorists who overran the city became all too evident.

Maaloula, a town near Damascus which is home to ancient monasteries and churches, suffered unspeakable brutality, vandalism and destruction at the hands of terrorists before the Syrian army brought security and stability to the town.

Terrorists blew up St. Thecla Convent which brought part of it tumbling down, before moving to vandalize the new church and burn the temple’s marble gate decorated with holy icons.

Walls had been charred, saints’ icons stripped off and the Christ’s icons stabbed with knives. An array of several other icons of priceless value were damaged and deformed.

Moreover, lootings abounded in the town. Terrorists stole brass pieces, chandeliers, a 3-meter-long bronze statue of Jesus Christ overlaid with gold that Russia gave to the monastery as a gift in 2009, among other things.

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Another marble statueof Jesus Christ, known as King of the World, was detonated after terrorists rigged its base with explosives.

The brass crosses of the monastery were taken off, and so were all the crosses that once stood erect at the top of domes, churches and monasteries in the town. Historic documents dating back to 1, 500 years were incinerated, in an obvious attempt to obliterate the town’s landmarks that are steeped in history.

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Despite the startling scope of vandalism and damage caused to one of the theology studies’ rooms, a painting with the words “God is Love” written on it stood hanging on what remained of one of the rooms’ door.

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Residents of Maaloula remain hopeful that the wounds of their town will heal and that it will be resurrected from the ravages of terrorism that has left behind an unheard-of trail of destruction.

Head of Maaloula Municipality, Naji Wehbe, said the attempts of terrorists to “kill” Maaloula came as no surprise for, he says, Wahabi terrorists are foes of beauty, history and humankind.

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M. Ismael