On June 4th in Palmira, Syria — Tourists returned to Syria, for the first time since the war broke out in 2011.
All thanks to Solid, the non-profit organization whose primary objective is the assistance and support of those peoples fighting for survival, the safeguard of one's own culture and the defense of their identity.
This has allowed us to rebuild an effective channel of cooperation and collaboration between Italy and Syria, more than five years after the interruption of diplomatic, commercial, cultural and tourist relations.
To bring tourists to Syria is a historic goal, as we read on the facebook page of the Association, for European volunteers who after more than five years of humanitarian activity in the country battered by the war could reach Palmyra.
The project to bring tourists to Syria, to Palmira in particular, was organized by the association in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism in The Syrian Arab Republic and with the Syrian community in Italy.
The first European «solidary» tourists were able to visit the splendid monumental site partially devastated by the terrorists, and the museum of Palmyra, vandalized and looted by Islamist rebels.
A guided tour through the evocative setting of the city and an interesting visit to the museum pavilions helped to better understand the unparalleled beauty of the site and the very serious devastation caused by thefts and terrorist demolitions.
But the trip to Syria for the first post-war European tourists was not just Palmyra.
In Damascus they visited the House of Ananias, the Christian martyr who baptized St. Paul.
The Franciscan Sisters of the Custody of the Holy Land welcomed the group at the Memorial of the Conversion of St. Paul, the place where Paul received the famous miraculous shock.
Her Sisters and Friars carry out many activities in support of the local population, including psychosocial support for children traumatized by war: 50 Christians and 50 Muslims, further evidence of the magnificent coexistence of religions present in Syria.
For the participants of this first extraordinary trip it was also possible to meet the Grand Mufti of Syria, the most important Sunni religious figure of the nation, who described the model of religious coexistence present in Syria by President Bashar Al Assad, and told the audience how they are not religious, but merely economic, the reasons for the terrorist attack suffered by the Syrian people.
Ilprimato nazionale — Italy