Chaldean Bishop Audo: the conflict has disfigured Aleppo

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) – In recent days, the clash of arms that could be heard even from the center of Aleppo seems to have lessened. And in the apparent stalemate the devastating effects of the conflict on the ordinary life in what was one of the most thriving and cosmopolitan city in the Middle East is registered with more clarity. “Here now everything is enshtouded by a sense of ruin and decay” says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Antoine Audo, Chaldean Bishop of the metropolis. As head of Caritas in Syria, Mgr. Audo is measures himself every day with the long-term consequences of the conflict on everyday life. He explains to Fides: “In Aleppo there are hundreds of thousands of internal refugees, huddled in schools and makeshift camps, such as the more than 5 thousand who sleep outdoors in the gardens of the university campus. But people do not work, and all have become poor. Even those who still live in their homes. The industrial areas of the suburbs were bombed and looted. For weeks, garbage is not collected, and in the streets, the air becomes unbreathable.” The five centers of Caritas in the city directly assist 2,400 families, distributing medicine, clothing and food products. In recent days, the priests and volunteers who work together in the Caritas network met with Mgr. Audo to study programs in view of the upcoming winter. In what in 2006 was awarded the title of “Cultural Capital of the Islamic world,” the conflict has opened the doors to the ghosts of cold, hunger and disease. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 26/11/2012).