Homs Old City after Terrorists Exit

 Following the exit process of the terrorist gunmen, I was one of the first returnees to Homs old city district.

I went back there with my friend Naya and her family, who had left their home for more than two years ago. I thought that our destination would be to Alhamidiah, where the family used to live, to check their house, but to my astonishment, Naya said to me:"There is something more important than the house to be inspected. We will head for the church, Om Al-Zenar church, the church where I and my husband and our children as well were baptized.

We went directly to the church. All people there were working tirelessly to remove the rubble of the burnt church. The church's priest participated in the work .He was working with his hands to clean the place.  Everybody was working, but the destruction was very huge.

I did not recognize this church. It seemed to me that I was walking in one of the cities that were destroyed by Nazi Germany in the Second World War as we watch in the movies.

I searched for icons that used to adorn the whole church. I was informed that all these precious and valuable things were, unfortunately, either burnt or stolen.

Meantime, maintenance work teams began removing the rubble and sand barriers from old Homs district as the people of the city, who were displaced from the city by the armed groups returned to check their properties or get some of their possessions out of their houses.

While wandering in the place, I was approached by an old lady, who insisted on inviting me to her devastated house. She said: "Despite the suffering we have experienced for more than a year and a half from the hate-fueled Wahabi mentality of the terrorist groups wreaking havoc in our country, we are more steadfast, defiant and determined on  purging Syria from every terrorist. Syria will always be but the beacon of all freemen and freedom fighters".

George, a school teacher, said optimistically: "Despite the huge destruction caused by those criminals, they were humiliatingly defeated thanks to our great and brave army and our people's determination to defend the homeland and restore security and stability.

We will spare no efforts to restore our normal life and reconstruct what the armed terrorist groups had damaged, but to build the new Syria ".

Anwar, whose older brother was killed by a terrorist gunman, said:"Syria has Al-Assad, brave army and honest people to defend and triumph over the terrorists who committed the most heinous crimes against the Syrian people. The Syrians are about to celebrate their victory against the spiteful terrorism affiliates from all over the world”.

Amal Farhat--Homs