In the souk in Aleppo we hear form Jalal: war means destruction and loss, that is true, but crossing the threshold of the Focolare we find a home and a community, a refuge and place of comfort, hope and joy, where people support one another in getting up and starting over again.
Travelling from Damascus to Aleppo, you go through Homs. We saw for ourselves what is happening there: the rebuilding and the people’s determination to go back to a normal life in a country where the war is not yet over and rubble blocks roads and hinders lives. We saw what the Focolare is doing through projects run by the Action for a United World (AMU) and the New Families Association (AFN).
A report on a journey with Egilde Verì who came back to Syria after 14 years and after a terrible conflict. We travel to Damascus with her to meet and hear from the Focolare community there.
It started as a school for children with hearing and speech impediments, but IRAP is much more than this. Everyone feels at home there and workshops for crafts and cookery have developed creating jobs and settings for a shared life. IRAP’s story shows that integration is not something exceptional but the daily life and destiny of the Lebanese people.
This country has all it takes to be a model for the world of shared life in society and among religions. Yet the longstanding political and economic crises undermine this careful balance. For 50 years the Focolare has been seeking to make its own contribution.