Communiqué issued by the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo

On Friday 19th October 2012 The Syrian Orthodox’ School (Bani Taghleb I), which is adjacent to the Archbishopric complex in the Sulaimania District of Aleppo, sustained a direct hit on its third floor (where the kindergarten is located), by what appeared to be a homemade mortar. Likely, Friday is a holiday in Syria therefore there were no injuries or fatalities apart from the damages to the third floor and children play area.

At this juncture it is rather difficult and frankly irrelevant to know the source of the mortar. Missiles fall relentlessly and indiscriminately, day and night over all residential districts of Aleppo. Considering that the Sulaimania District is one of the hot spots of the city of Aleppo, it has its fair share. The missiles cause an untold toll of martyrdom, fatalities, injuries and great damages to utilities, infrastructure and antiquities of the oldest inhabited city in the World.

What is important, now, is to join the citizens of Aleppo in our collective cry for peace and security. The Peace-loving inhabitants of Aleppo, the city of coexistence, were driven far beyond their threshold of forbearance and fatigue, due to this imposed nightmare which deprived them of the minimum dose of tranquilities known to its inhabitant and visitors.

Bani Taghleb I School is about to celebrate its centenary. The Metropolitan of Aleppo; Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, who also acts as the school governor and Chairman of the board of trusties, happened to be at the school on 18th October to attend a joint meeting with the trustees, headmaster and staff to discuss the organization of the centenary celebrations and to prepare the open of the school for this academic year which is soon to be opened. Bani Taghleb I has 550 pupils. Due to the current situation and migration of the city, the school administration expects to only have about 50 students attending the school this year.

The governor and the administration assessed the damages and decided that business should run as usual, and that such incidents should not deprive the young children from their basic right to education. The school should resume its usual schedule at the beginning of November, as the necessary repair work is already under way.

We believe it is high time that belligerent brothers should get together to discuss the need to bring about ceasefire, co-operate to re-establish security and bring back the life to our beloved city, so Aleppians can celebrate Eid and festivities in the usual joyful customary ways and usher the start of a new era of reform and justice.

Syrians will never allow Syria to fall and its resurrection is imminent.