September 20 2016 17:15 | St. Francis' Square

Speech of Tamar Mikalli

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Tamar Mikalli

Witness, Syria

I come from Aleppo, the martyr city of Syria. 

Aleppo, to say this name breaks my heart: it is where I was born and raised, where I got married.

I remember my many Muslim and Christian friends. Now distinctions are made between Christians and Muslims, but before the war there was no difference. Everyone practiced his or her own religion, in a land that formed a mosaic through different cultures, languages and religions. 

Then the war broke out, and I still do not know why. Missiles started pouring down, destroying houses. I can still hear the screams of a father, of a mother, or children shouting, looking for their parents. 

When the heavy bombings were close to our houses, we met with our neighbours, sharing bread and water, the most precious goods that go missing during wartime. We encouraged each other and prayed. Prayer was the only support to us, we kept repeating the word of Jesus that says – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”. 

We resisted three years hoping for the war to end, we lived in misery; then my family’s home was bombed and we finally decided to leave Syria and go to Lebanon. We became refugees, together with thousands of Syrians. We had to leave everything behind. I took my elderly parents with me, I would have never left without them. It is the second exodus our families endure in one hundred years. 

We stayed in Lebanon for two years, then we met some angels, who told us about the humanitarian corridors and about the chance to live in peace. Now I live in Tuscany and try to integrate in this beautiful Country, Italy, where I arrived four months ago. 

I would like to thank everyone who worked for our sake, for giving us back the smile we had lost because of the war. 

To all of you men and women of religion, and to you Your Holiness, on behalf of the Syrian people, we ask for a prayer, for Peace and love to return to Syria and all over the world.