The city of Aleppo has been nearly destroyed by the fight between the “Syrian rebels” and the regime of Bashar al-Assad. But that didn’t stop a group of devout Christians from making the journey to World Youth Day in Poland to greet the pope.
Green Infidel has translated an interview with a young Syrian woman who made the trek from Aleppo to Krakow. The translator includes this introductory note:
During the ongoing World Youth Day in Poland, a reporter from the mainstream (and very PC) Polish TV network TVN found a pilgrim in the crowd who, as it turned, was Syrian — and from Aleppo…
The reporter then seemed very surprised by the pilgrim’s calmness, and her explanation that she doesn’t intend to emigrate, and that the only thing she asks for, as a Syrian, is prayer… Apparently not every Syrian is desperate to head to the “promised land” of Europe!
A reporter from the Polish Catholic magazine Gość Niedzielny (for many years, the largest-selling Polish weekly news magazine) then somehow managed to find her in the crowd. (with around a million attending, and Krakow completely saturated by pilgrims, I would imagine that’s no mean feat!)
Below is the reporter’s account:
We found the Syrian, who surprised the TVN reporter!
posted 07/29/2016 16:30
By Jakub Jałowiczor
Pilgrims from Syria came to the World Youth Day, together with Egyptians and Lebanese. The girl from Aleppo, who became famous after the interview with TVN24, is called Rita Basmajian. We managed to find her.
[JJ = Jakub Jałowiczor; RB = Rita Basmajian]
JJ: Was it easy to get to Poland? RB: No, not really. The journey takes many hours, so it’s difficult. But now we’re here. JJ: What was the biggest problem you came across — with Polish officers, escaping from Syria, getting money for the trip? RB: No, the problem is with the travel time. Just this. JJ: What do you do on a daily basis?
RB: I study fashion design in Aleppo. In Aleppo we have the Oratory of Don Bosco. We look after children. It’s really good. JJ: In this oratory, are there some Polish priests? RB: There are Syrians. They work for us. JJ: They helped you to come here? RB: Yes. They chose five people from Aleppo, and twelve in total from Syria. They brought us here. JJ: They came with you? RB: Yes, of course. JJ: How long have you been in Poland? RB: Since the 25th of July. We’ll stay here another two days, then we’ll go to Italy to see the local office of Don Bosco. JJ: Many Poles want to know what is happening in Syria and how you can help. RB: Just pray for us. We know what is happening. There is plenty of information on TV. Just pray for us. Let me tell you something: we live in peace. It is not so that because there is a war, we have no peace. No. This is something that is within us. You see that we are happy, we smile. We live in peace. Pray for us and for our country. JJ: If it were possible, would you and your friends like to leave Syria and live abroad? RB: No. We love our country. We have the children. We must take care of them. Where would we go? We are happy. JJ: What most surprised you in Poland? RB: The people. I previously only saw them on TV, and now I’m here. Everything here is surprising. JJ: I saw that you danced. What was your dancing? RB: It’s a traditional dance called the Shar-i. We dance it not only in Syria, but also in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. JJ: And the headband with a buzzing chain that you were wearing? RB: It is also traditional dress. It’s called halhal, or halahil.