SYRIA – ACN aid kitchen gives hope to Christians and Muslims in Aleppo
While the Syrian city of Aleppo is still experiencing terrible violence and conflict, a Catholic Church is providing essential help and hope to both Christians and Muslims who have remained in the city.
Jesuit priest Fr. Ziad Hilal of the Catholic international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), relates how the Church has recently been stepping in to feed the hungry, the majority of which are Muslims.
“We have a big kitchen, this kitchen was sponsored by ACN and other associations, and a lot of people who come — we give about 7,500 meals every day,” Fr. Hilal said. “It is a lot, and the team is a Muslim and Christian team, and a lot of the people who benefit from these meals are Muslims,” he added.
Providing the basic necessities such as food already goes a long way in making people more resilient and hopeful that things will turn out for the better. The people of Aleppo need such support more than ever, especially with the recent large numbers of civilian casualties and deaths brought about by the intense fighting and the thousands of people being displaced. Power and water were also cut last year, affecting about two million people. ACN helped alleviate suffering by providing generators and water tanks for families that were affected.
Fr. Hilal declared “What the people in Syria and especially in Aleppo need is security and mercy to continue their lives because it is a hard situation … It is important now to say what Pope Francis said a few days ago — ‘I encourage everyone — young and old people — to live with enthusiasm in this Year of Mercy, to overcome indifference, and firstly proclaim peace in Syria is possible. Peace in Syria is possible.’ This is our cry today, that peace in Syria is possible, this is the only hope for us.”