We can barely hear Jamilaa’s gentle voice as she tells her story.
“The hospital where I was staying with my two children was attacked four times in three days,” she says. ”They made us leave the building because it was close to the battlefront.”
She comes out of the kitchen carrying a small red teapot. We are at her home, surrounded by the skeletons of other houses.
“It is a mystery how these gutted houses are still standing upright. Many are missing doors and windows.” When asked who is responsible for those bombings, she replies: “Our men are the perpetrators, both the ones fighting in the government army and in the opposition. They are the same people who lived in these houses, who were treated in these hospitals, who sent their children to these schools.”
Going back with her and her family to those rooms, though severely damaged, filled the atmosphere with Christmas joy. Yes, because it was Christmas, even in Aleppo, for the 35,000 Christians who remain in the Aziziyeh neighborhood. Jamilaa tells us that she preserves the meat with salt because there is not enough electricity for the refrigerator. “My grandmother taught me how when I was a child. I did not think I would ever have to do it.”