Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria’s Pilgrims: From the Sounds of Missiles to the Peace Square in the Holy Sites - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Holy Site of Mina- Damascus residents performing Hajj this year had arrived to the Peace Square in the Holy Sites leaving behind the woes of the Syrian war, the sounds of the missiles and the smell of death that kept chasing them.

The miseries of pain, grief and poverty were reflected on their faces. Most of them had suffered from the threats of shelling, arrests and terror.

Hajji Jamila Mohammed al-Youssef, 65, who comes from the Aleppo province in Syria, said that such dire situation was normal in light of the regime performances against any resident who opposes its rule.

Hajji Jamila had escaped the war in Aleppo with her family to another village, but her house was completely destroyed by an ISIS attack, leaving her with nothing.

Her son Yahya Shahatah said: “We left Aleppo because we refuse tyranny and because we wanted to escape the shelling. Still, our house in the village was hit by ISIS.”

Jamila’s son said they went through a lot before arriving to Saudi Arabia. “Our trip to Turkey should only take a few hours. However, it took us 15 days to arrive to the Holy Sites after passing through several regime and ISIS security checkpoints,” he said.

Ammar al-Jamal Abu Yasser, 25, is a Syrian national from Eastern Ghouta. He is now paralyzed after regime forces shelled his village two and a half years ago. Abu Yasser was later taken to Jordan for treatment.

“I will be patient in support of my Syrian brothers to defend our right for sovereignty against tyranny and oppression,” he said.

Abu Yasser praised the efforts of Saudi Arabia in providing easy and comfortable Hajj services to pilgrims.