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May 6 2015

Sant'Egidio for Aleppo, the "martyred city" of the conflict in Syria. The #savealeppo appeal, today more topical than ever

The strong denunciation of the newspaper "Avvenire" that, together with the Community, relaunches the "Save Aleppo" appeal of Andrea Riccardi to urgently achieve a ceasefire and open a humanitarian corridor

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Today’s l’Avvenire is right to issue a  front-page headline "The Catacombs of Aleppo" and to dedicate the editorial page of editor Tarquinio to the state of abandonment faced by this martyred city of Syria, forced to live underground for fear of bombings that are finishing to destroy it. It is necessary to increase the number of those that do not want to accept that an entire population is left to itself. Because we are faced with a devastating war, which has lasted for more than three years now, in front of which the best word is "shame", that of the international community that has failed so far to do what was possible to stop the killing of a Syrian city, symbol of millennial coexistence between different religions and cultures, a place of culture and art, and with the largest number of Christians in the Middle East.

But also the shame of a European and Western public opinion too distracted to be able to worry about thousands of dead and thousands of displaced persons. The data of Amnesty International on the civilians killed by bombs scare and recall that, in the sights of terror, there are churches, mosques, markets, hospitals and schools, that is, the places that represent the life of a city.

The Community of Sant'Egidio invites to resume the "Save Aleppo" appeal, launched a year ago by Andrea Riccardi with thousands of signatures in favour of a humanitarian channel to help the population and to open up glimmers of hope for peace. This appeal may be the basis for a urgent intervention of the international community. To do nothing or to wait too long to act is tantamount to let Aleppo die of neglect. It is a proposal that has received the consent, just a week ago, of the highest representatives of the Eastern Churches during the first Inter-Christian summit on "Christians in the Middle East: What Future?", organised by Sant'Egidio and the Archdiocese of Bari. An international conference that also saw the participation of representatives of European governments, such as Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the Secretary for Relations with States, Paul Richard Gallagher and, from the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Secretary Nunzio Galantino who recalled how it has become "urgent and vital not to give up" in the face of this continuing slaughter.

Let us not abandon Aleppo, let us do everything possible so that proposals for international protection and humanitarian channels are activated in order to reopen a space for hope on the other side of the Mediterranean.

SIGN the #saveAleppo appeal


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