Christians and Muslims united in solidarity with Syria
During the Easter holiday, on Tuesday 7 April, several dozen Lebanese and Syrians, Christians and Muslims united, were marching together for peace and justice in Syria. In a time where hatred and violence are dominating the international news, they wanted to set a symbol for solidarity between different religions and convictions.
Buses were leaving in the early morning from Beirut and from Akkar to meet in the breathtaking nature of Qadisha Valley, the Holy Valley of the Maronites where more than a dozen of old monasteries, carved in the steep rocks, are witnessing the long and rich history of faith since the Maronites themselves arrived as refugees, several hundred years ago, fleeing persecution to the safe mountain retreat.
In the current situation where more than a million Syrian refugees can hardly move are more and more feel they have overstayed their welcome, the Lebanese and international members of Relief & Reconciliation wished to set a symbol of hospitality and solidarity. The Lebanese youth participating in this Easter March invited the refugees to the very heart of Lebanon. The European tradition of “Easter Marches” have been for many years a symbol against the nuclear arms race and proxy wars during the Cold War. Here in Lebanon, they have been given a new meaning: uniting Christians and Muslims for freedom and mutual friendship, against ethnic hatred and radicalisation.
But first and foremost, it was a fantastic and sunny day that allowed our Syrian friends to get out of the claustrophobic experience of the refugee camps. The 15 km march through the high mountains was exhausting, but after a hearty lunch and a final Christian-Muslim prayer, everybody was in a great mood. We definitely want to repeat the exercise next year- insha'llah!
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Welcome to R&R
You are on the homepage of Relief & Reconciliation International AISBL, a non-profit organisation under Belgian law that is combining peacebuilding with humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis. We are uniting different communities around a common cause: the future of the youth. We opened our first Peace Centre and a refugee camp school in the North of Lebanon, only 12 km from the Syrian border. Read more on the following pages about who we are and what we do.