Closing schools : Another Bleak signs for Christians in Syria

Closing schools : Another Bleak signs for Christians in Syria

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Eyala Saadi lives in Qamishli, a town in northeastern Syria that was founded in the 1920s after thousands of Assyrians fled the 1915 genocide in neighboring Turkey. Eyala is 27 years old and works as a protection programs officer for a humanitarian organization. She has a degree in law from the University of Aleppo, located about 260 miles from her town.

While Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, is infamous for having been the scene of large-scale devastation and carnage that earned it the moniker "Syria's Stalingrad" among combatants, Eyala's much smaller hometown of Qamishli and its Assyrian Christian residents have faced a different type of conflict. Theirs has lasted since 1915 but has remained a struggle fought outside the spotlight shone on the brutal fighting in larger cities.


Qamishli is a Christian center of Syria - the Assyrian Christians are ethnically different from Syria's Arab Christians, but they've suffered from similar threats of persecution on the basis of their ethnicities and religion. Qamishli's pre-war population was about 40,000, with 25,000 belonging to the ancient Syriac Orthodox Church. Today, half of Qamishli's Assyrian Christians are gone.






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