In the following you will find our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with commentary by Vince Dhimos.
It is easy to see why the US has lost the hearts and minds of the Middle East (the Arab Youth Poll tells the story). After all, the US has slapped crippling sanctions on Syria, virtually banning the rebuilding of the country its policies have destroyed. Yes, folks, rebuilding Syrian schools is banned under US policy!
Opening of a school in Damascus rebuilt with funds raised in Russia
In Damascus, a secondary school has been opened that was damaged during the fighting and rebuilt with [private] funds raised in Russia.
The renovated school is located in the Barza region of northeast Damascus.
During the years of intense hostilities, the school was shelled by militants; internally displaced persons lived in the building.
Funds for repairs were raised by the Inter-Religious Working Group to Assist Syria as part of the Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations.
"We arrived in your hospitable country to open a school renovated with funds that our faithful, Christians and Muslims, collected bit by bit," said hieromonk Stefan, secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, at the opening ceremony.
“The guarantee that peace in Syria will ultimately be established is your children. If they are brought up in a peaceful spirit as patriots of their country, no one and nothing will divert them from the peaceful path,” the hieromonk added.
The head of the Department of Education of Damascus, Gassan Al-Lyahham, thanked the Russian side for the implementation of the project. “Thanks to this initiative, we can see what real friendship looks like,” he said.
Now the school has a capacity for 200 students.
Other educational institutions plan to join the school.
After unification, the number of students will increase by a factor of six.