Aleppo children’s peace drawings exhibited at European Parliament

In the week before the Skype conference with EU politicians, in West Aleppo a group of 25 Christian and Muslim children under the guidance of the Franciscan friar Fr. Ibrahim prepared songs, drawings and special messages of peace.

European Parliament Vice-President Antonio Tajani working together with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has coordinated a special exhibition of the Aleppochildren’s drawings and messages in Brussels. The exhibition is being held in a main hall at the European Parliament.

Among the exhibits is a  moving poem from 12 year-old Shan in Aleppo describing suffering in war:

“I am praying, God my country is suffering
Cold, sadness and darkness, no electricity nor candles.
A mother is calling with her unheard voice
to the father who left that morning unsure if he will come back.
Please, God, do not abandon us to sorrow and hunger
God, keep your hands with us, our country is suffering.
Children, like the sunrise, study in the darkness;
we are waiting for good news covered by mercy,
hoping to meet in the neighborhood beautiful smiles,
but find black hearts even darker than carbon.
They are baptized with blood and we do not even have tears left.
God, don´t abandon our suffering country!”

(Translated from Arabic)

At the same time, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has offered 18 of the drawings he received during the Syrian Patriarch’s visit in October to be part of an exhibition co-sponsored by UNICEF, called “Standing Strong: The Human Faces of the Syrian Crisis,” which is  also being held at the European Commission headquarters till 15 Dec. These drawings, alongside ACN photos of Syrian children, will then travel to be exhibited in other EU venues during the first three months of 2017.