About how Tatarstan citizens help to restore a school in Syria

40,000 dollars — for peaceful educational conditions for 1,200 young inhabitants of Damascus

A secondary school, which after the shelling of militants for a long time was in a terrible state, has opened in the north-east of Damascus. It is noteworthy that in the restoration of the institution, the most active, perhaps, have been Muslims from Tatarstan. The believers raised the necessary funds and transferred it to overhaul. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Tatar contribution

Muslims of Tatarstan have helped to restore a school in Syria. The educational institution in the north-east of Damascus (the Barzeh district) was almost destroyed after the “work” of the militants. Now two hundred of 7-9 graders can return to the new desks in the renovated classrooms.

Recently, Russian religious leaders have opened an educational institution in Damascus. A year ago, the inter-religious working group on humanitarian assistance to the population of the Syrian Arab Republic spread the word for fundraising. The association, which includes leaders of various religious faiths of our country, was created in 2017 by the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the President of the Russian Federation. The charity project to renovate the school received the approval of both Muslim and Orthodox leaders (for example, of Patriarch Kirill). And, perhaps, Tatarstan believers turned out to be the most responsive.

“The Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Tatarstan took an active part in the restoration of the school, which organized a charity fundraiser among caring Muslims of Tatarstan. May Allah protect all countries and peoples from what Syrians and their children had to go through as a result of hostilities, send peace to this country and give good to all who made personal donations for the restoration of this school and prayed for the welfare of Syrian co-religionists,” the press service of the MSB RT told Realnoe Vremya.

Religious leaders collected almost 40,000dollars — just in order Syrian students could receive knowledge in normal conditions.

“Reflashing” the children

The war in Syria has been going on for eight years — since October 2011. At the end of 2017, Russia announced its victory over ISIS (the organization is banned in Russia) and a number of other terrorist groups. The authorities of the Arab Republic are now trying to restore infrastructure, return refugees and resolve political issues.

During the years of active hostilities, the school in Barza was shelled by militants. This building sheltered internally displaced persons. Eastern Barza had been in the hands of militants for a long time. The terrorists ideologically “processed” the children living in this area of Damascus in special centres.

After the Syrian army liberated this part of the capital, the authorities saw that the local youth did not receive a full secondary education. And it was necessary to “reflash” the consciousness of children as soon as possible. The members of the working group from Russia came to the aid of the Arab authorities.

The school was the first facility within the project to rebuild Syria's war-torn social infrastructure. It is planned to join other educational institutions to the renovated school. The Alma mater will be available to 1,200 students soon. 25-30 children will study in each class.

The new challenge is to restore the country

The opening of the school began with a moment of silence in memory of all those killed during the war in Syria. The ceremony was attended by Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Efimov, Secretary of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the President of the Russian Federation Sergey Melnikov, Mufti of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin, Chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of the Muslims of Russia Albir Krganov and Secretary for Inter-Christian Relations of the Department for External Church Relations of the ROC Hieromonk Stefan Igumnov. The Syrian side was represented by Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed and city officials.

According to Kamil khazrat, members of the working group have already carried out a number of actions to deliver major humanitarian aid to Syria. This school is only part of the great work that Russian believers do.

The head of the Department of Education of Damascus thanked the Russians for the implementation of this project. According to him, thanks to the restored school, the Syrian people see what true friendship looks like.

In turn, Hieromonk Stefan noted that the Syrians fought heroically against terrorism. Now they are facing a new challenge — to restore the country. The believers of Russia, Muslims and Christians, help their Arab brothers in this noble cause so that Syrian children are brought up in peaceful conditions and become true patriots.

After the opening, the officials were given a tour around the school premises. The mufti of Tatarstan also talked with students, gave them sweets and willingly agreed to a selfie.

By Timur Rakhmatullin