A Syrian choir on tour in France to save the cathedral of AleppoSyria

lavie.fr, Laurence Desjoyaux, 2018-10-12

From October 13 to 23, A Syrian choir bringing together Christians from the city of Aleppo will sing in seven French cities to raise funds for the restoration of the Maronite cathedral of Saint-Elie, destroyed by the war.

In a report from March 2017, we talked about the Saint-Elie cathedral, which suffered heavy damage during the bombardments in the Christian quarter of Jdeidé, the roof of the church was washed away. Since then, the situation in Aleppo has improved, but the fate of Christians remains uncertain, as Maronite Archbishop Joseph Tobji of the city explains: “In terms of security, it has been much better, but the Christians are faced with the lack of jobs and above all with the bloody trauma of immigration. During the last years of the war, the departure of the Christians made us a small community, it was difficult for us psychologically.

In this situation, the restoration of Saint Elias Cathedral is a strong sign. The work has been done, but much remains to be done. “The demolition is only done once, but the reconstruction takes time and money to finance,” explained the bishop.

The entire repair was funded by Oriental Works. Vincent Gelot, head of the program in Syria explains: “We have been working for a year, first to prevent the church from falling, then to repair the inner dome which was destroyed by the bomb.” At the end of last year the church bells were repaired and now the bells are ringing. Mr. Vincent Gelot applauded: “Now everything is ready to install the wood.” The wooden structure is being completed in an Italian factory and will be shipped to Syria in the near future.

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The Naregatsi here continued to meet while we were still under the rain of bullets, these meetings as a remedy for a painful situation.

courage and hope

It is within the framework of a special patronage for the roof of the church that the Naregatsi choir carried out a 10-day tour of France in 7 cities. The choir was founded twenty years ago in the city of Aleppo, Bishop Tobji stressed: “It is a symbolic work. The Naregatsi here continued to meet while we were still under the rain of bullets, these meetings as a remedy for a painful situation. In the eyes of others, they are symbols of courage and hope.

About thirty singers will sing in Arabic, but also songs by Vivaldi or Faure. “It’s a song of hope that they carry in their hearts and they want to show it to the French,” the Bishop of Aleppo said. They are really generous people. »

The choir will perform in the following cities in France:

Saturday 13 October: Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral, 8.30 p.m.

Sunday 14 October: Versailles, Church of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, 3 p.m.

Monday October 15: Armentières (Lille), Notre Dame d’Armentières Cathedral, 8:15 p.m.

Tuesday 16 October: Strasbourg, House of Music and Dance, 8 p.m.

Thursday 18 October: Lyon, Saint Bonaventura church, 8 p.m.

Friday 19 October: Marseille, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 8.15 p.m.

Saturday 20 October: Toulouse Cathedral, 8.30 p.m.

Sunday October 21: Lourdes, Center Marie Saint-Frai, 8 p.m.

Tuesday 23 October: Paris, Saint François de Sales church, 8 p.m.

FREE ENTRANCE. Register by e-mail at the following address: [email protected]

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