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tv   Close up  Deutsche Welle  April 7, 2021 9:30am-10:01am CEST

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christianity for at least out bush himself. both religious and secular leaders are eager to display their power. to trace began to. create the tallest biggest and the most beautiful structures this is how massive churches are created. consciousness this is the drills starts april 12th on d w. a growing number of christians from the middle east now live in germany columns kirk has been here for decades he was born in southeastern turkey. but in recent years many have come from syria where christianity is fast disappearing thus it is not
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the 1st time this has happened in the middle east in my view that there are always wars and in the end if the christians lose the freedom to lose kurt is seeking to help. he's come to syria to find out what he can do to alleviate the situation and to encourage the last remaining christians not to leave until his journey succeeded . his 1st destination a clinic in the town of sadhana in western syria he hasn't come empty handed this ambulance is as good as new one final check. e.c.g. monitor is there ever so i found that if opened. up at us we just get it in a few minutes paolo's card and hines nath will hand over the vehicle. it was
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transported from germany by ship. the ambulance has been completely renewed thanks to 30000 euros in donations. volunteers worked on it for 2 years members of a catholic association in germany also helped hines now is want to. force. a qualified paramedic he goes through the equipment on board with one of the doctors at the clinic. the hospital's own ambulance was destroyed by islamist militants. many of those who donated to the new vehicle were initially concerned about giving money to a country ruled by a dictator but in the end the desire to help in the face of human need prevailed you mentioned people here have suffered a lot and had a lot stolen from them you know you can see the state of the previous hour. it was shot to pieces by almost from militants and caught fire on this is what's important for us is to help people. whether there's an autocratic governments in power or
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a free deal. with. the ambulances ready to go staff at the clinic are delighted. they say it will help save lives. to move them it's very much needed because the next time spittle is 45 kilometers away and we have no specialist doctors here every time we need to transfer patient we need a vehicle but there just aren't any often you can't even order a private car the end violence will serve more than 15000 people not just here inside out but also the surrounding villages. the ambulance is the 1st major project for polo skirts a small aid organization he knows what it is to flee fighting he was a refugee himself when he came to germany in 1900 this is a big moment for him. this is a cup when i see that bust up ambulance. i can't put into words how happy and
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proud i am that these people now have this ambulance. here that. used to be home to many christians the scene is quickly shared with other syrians back in germany high play ambulance. all with their own x. talk. in germany where. rania fled syria 4 years ago and now lives in germany she works for the aid organization which is why she was given special permission by the german immigration authorities to return here just for a few days. time for another quick photo for friends and donors back in germany. suddenly a man comes by on a moped the group knows him. newman was previously
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a refugee in germany to. how you know you well. know it was russia the honeymoon invites his old friends back to his house. because he. fled syria to escape the islamic state group rather than the assad regime he and his family faced no problems when they return. now he works as a self-employed car mechanic. at that moment but. he and his wife and children are living here sharing with another family. they hope it's just a temporary solution. rania wants to know if shanti and his family need any help because she can't understand why they return voluntarily i think less offer me what made you leave germany and come back here when. i came back because i wasn't doing well mentally. and that i had no work and nothing to do i just spent
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24 hours a day thinking about everything. i need work to distract me and pass the time while i was in germany but my thoughts were here in a subtle sort of money market is i'm not planning to return there's nothing here for me that my son says mom i'm not going back i'm studying i'm working i don't want to lose my future my daughter is doing her high school diploma aren't you worried about your family and children if the ins return fire is you guys mother thought. no it's completely safe here. with worship my mind that there were bomb attacks yesterday or lot of homes is completely safe syria is completely safe right through to iraq is the father would you go back if the militants returned. a lot to germany probably. running a asks his daughter lane if she wants to go to germany yes she does she tells us she loves going to school in germany lane shows us around the home and this is the
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living room she says. the this is the bedroom for the entire family. this is and this is the kitchen where they all cooked together. is not typical most christians aren't keen to return to syria. the assad dynasty has ruled the country since 1971 the personality cult surrounding the president is all too evident and so are the scars of war. there are roadblocks everywhere. journalists are not allowed to move freely in syria. at least one person from the information ministry escorted us whenever we filmed for security reasons we were told.
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that the capital damascus is still a bustling center of life. all appears calm here and relatively normal. but appearances can be deceiving. the old city which remains largely intact has numerous control posts and a host of security officials who we're not allowed to film. the fear of terrorist attacks is very real there's also rampant inflation in the war and international sanctions have driven crisis through the roof the syrian pound is constantly losing value. even the man selling sweets deals with huge bundles of money. to some of our sanctions the problem i asked him if yes they're driving up the prices says this trader. it's a crisis with no wind in sight for syria's war weary population. not far from the market is the official residence of the head of the syriac orthodox
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church. paulose and members of his a group international society of oriental christians are here to talk to the patriarch about new projects like. the ambulance for saddam was just a start. they've waited weeks for this appointment with the patriarch. to. make not c s i from the 2nd meets them in person. in the woods the patriarch is the spiritual leader of millions of syriac orthodox christians all over the world. he has no illusions about the future of christians in syria as he tells us in a rare interview. if i have to look at it as the christian situation in syria i would say that i would numbers have almost.
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been reduced by half unfortunately. those who are still here some of them are still looking forward to leaving syria. in does in such situation we believe that it's important for us to strengthen our presence and i would contribution to syria because of that. the decrease in numbers we have to double 0 if worse and to be stronger in our situations in order to. prove ourselves as citizens and also to be able to help that is of the syrian brothers and says that really with what many centuries all over. at the cathedral of st george in damascus the psalms are sung in aramaic the language spoken by jesus christ the syriac orthodox the nomination sees itself in
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the tradition of the early church the 1st christians came to damascus 2000 years ago. patriarchic not he was our friend has been in office since 2014. even at the height of the syrian civil war he stayed mostly in damascus. he rejects criticism from the west that he and his church have sold out to the assad regime. we have been in contact with many politicians and leaders in the west and i'm sorry to say that they have failed to understand our situation they have followed the mainline politics of the west. they look at christians in particular as collaborators as people supporting this regime or that and this is the case of course it hurts us to see people in the west accusing us of 1st standing on the
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side while we think they are on the wrong side of history. so why does the patriarch believe the west is on the wrong side of history on syria for more insight we meet with. a german expert on eastern christianity he spent years living in the middle east and knows many of the church leaders personally. mark on the scene as futile it was patriarch is just taking care of his flock. and it's quite simply the case that all the christians in syria believe that the conditions they've experienced on the bashar al assad and his father before. good as it gets in a state like syria. those into the abyss to move on there's always the fear that if things change fundamentally in this situation for the christians could look very differences that for example if radical islamists like the muslim brotherhood came to power. so preventing the top priority on those 2 for human
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is not the cure to see. kurt prefers to stay out of politics he just wants to help his fellow christians in their time of need. people talk a lot but they don't actually do anything to help it as someone who has been through these things i see it as my duty and my calling to help and support people in a situation like this to help and. running as focus is elsewhere right now she's longing to see her parents again and is planning a visit her family lives quite a distance from damascus. so i haven't seen them for 4 years. i feel like my heart has stopped beating a bit of hits broken hearts. we
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had north to visit ronnie as parents. while some areas have been reduced to rubble others remain untouched protected by checkpoints. our destination is an area known as the valley of christians in the province of homs where ronnie is mother and the entire family are waiting expectantly the war torn rania's family apart her parents village hasn't been destroyed but it was behind the front line meaning rania was cut off from her family. because the amount of it's incredible to think she's on her way here. you know what i'm so happy. because . there's just nothing much sympathy i'm very happy about that any mother in my position would be happy to see her daughter again it's been 5 years since we've
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seen her that she had to flee we were very worried about her she left on her own and has been through a lot. for the past week they've been waiting impatiently for rania to reach them. that. for years the only contact they've had with their daughter has been on the phone. if you look. at it my darling.
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we're so happy that she came back with you gotta take you and your children. i'm so happy to see my mother and father my uncles and until my friends talk to you i'm going i'm very happy. about it your ma. only just got out of homs in time. she lived near here in the city of homs together with her husband and children along with many other christians she never wants to come back here again. this neighborhood can only be accessed with a special permit from syria's military intelligence service palms was a center of the uprising against assad. the city came under
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rebel control the christians suffered greatly and during the long government siege to retake the city conditions were desperate. since 2017 the whole of homs has been back under government control. nature is gradually taking over. most residents were able to escape many now live in germany. but a few have returned and are now living in the ruins. it's mainly the older generation that have come back to their former neighborhood like swat and her husband she says homs was like hell on. earth. did not have to be when i came back i didn't recognize our apartment everything was burned up destroyed or had collapsed so it makes me sad at 1st i fainted at the
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sight i was as white as a sheet looking at all this houses apartments everything gone they left nothing. to look at. what my along. sue aren't witnessed terrible things but still she's hoping that her neighbors will return and things will be as they were before. there was a woman who just wanted to cross the street with her children they attacked them and shot them all dead they shot the woman her husband and the children what can i say seeing the bodies lying on the street was terrifying just as. bad is that. can she ever forgive the murderers. not among them oh no i'm not forgiving them it's impossible i would somehow that he forgive everything but what happened here i
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wasn't normal with them we saw things with their own eyes that we could never have believed. has just not been there weren't even any birds even the birds fled from those gunmen i don't feel you. are with me. a few minutes drive away is the manzanar church and important syriac orthodox cathedral this site is said to have been a place of christian worship for 2000 years. the building was severely damaged in the fighting but has since been restored. the church is seen as an anchor by many oriental orthodox christians skirt included . this is my identity. throughout history we
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oriental orthodox christians have never had a state that represented us politically or practically it so the church was always the highest authority that has always represented us and so it's my identity. that . very often it's the churches that have been rebuilt 1st in syria. without a church many see no hope of returning. polos continues his journey to the column on mountains near the lebanese border. the road passes through terrain that has remained unchanged for centuries. eventually we reach a small mountain village. home to an ancient christian community. the war came here to.
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in september 2013 and are not militants of the al qaeda affiliated al nusra front invaded the village days of fighting ensued between the militants and the government troops. buildings and artifacts dating back to antiquity were badly damaged some were directly targeted by the militants. right now things in manila are quiet. for sure. in those hollows has a range to meet professor needs are zombie war he's a well known artist who has studied the history of syria and clued in this special place. he says that even during those terrible weeks back in 2013 there were courageous
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people who helped their neighbors. when the militant muslim residents from the village of. help the christians of. for some even hit the christians in their homes a few minutes of. this relatively peaceful coexistence between diverse cultural groups set syria apart before the war good is the force could you imagine syria without this diversity these different religion it's really be sure to be a few one clash. syria has 18 different religious denominations and definite groups. in the midst of adversity is one of its most outstanding characteristics. of the dimmest now he looked around damascus and. other things how you expect them to be. now how do you. build that i thought i would only
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see both are images with because. everything we saw in europe was dark and hopeless . but what i've noticed here now is that there is hope. and hope. but i do see that some people are fearful and this is an angst. and when i stand here i see the monastery on the one side that has been repaired. but on the other the hotel that still stands in ruins. this is why so there are 2 different pictures this is for me and it's not easy for me to imagine that all this will stop at some point. although i sincerely hope it will. but i would like europe to come and see where their own oil is how life here is and to newegg despite everything despite the sanctions passed by cultivated europe with
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all respect coming to see how life serious and. looking at the destruction and the still relatively tense situation it's hard to imagine that this was once a popular tourist destination. footage from a german broadcaster dating back to 2001 shows the hotel in the village as it was a lively and beautiful place. visitors would come from all over the world to see them are sockets the one of syria's oldest surviving monasteries with its famous icons and ancient altar. the rule. is one of the last remaining villages where aramaic is still spoken the language of jesus christ this is the lord's prayer in aramaic i wanna give a small hitch get the sh'ma he shared
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a more. just communal church basement which smores has a lot of. the holy omaha hopefully that was 20 years ago what happened to the young woman did she survive the war. after months of research we find she's still here when the islamist militants came she hid in a cave now she's happy to show us around the monastery and church. of them with the missy this is one of the oldest altars in christian. what the runabout has broken and. you can still see the cracks. but our guys stuck it back together. when we came back after madeleine was liberated we found it in 3 or 4 pieces that at about. order has been restored in the church and the dome rebuilt.
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who. i. really. no walk oh oh. oh no bush home. all elite. just. another sizable christian community is located in northern syria right near the turkish border. this footage was filmed in
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july 2900 before turkey invaded the area. it's a predominantly kurdish region the kurds have long strived for political autonomy and traditionally oppose the assad regime. the footage shows many images of. the jailed founder of the kurdistan workers' party or p k k both turkey and the west see the p.k. k. as a terrorist group the turkish government views the local kurdish administration and all kurdish fighters as terrorists. in october 21000 turkish troops and allied militias invaded northern syria among them turkish back to jihad ists. in the chaos there were many reports of islamic state militants escaping from kurdish jails. the
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local christians found themselves with nowhere to turn. caught up in the fighting targeted by the islamists but not natural allies of the kurds either i escape route to europe via turkey was blocked by the walled off border. the muslims often gets angry because there's no hope of escaping from this area and i was teasing the beats the whole turkey has been closed for a number of years it took a medically sealed and so the christians are forced to stay where they are because like it's woman it's a blood was isn't. but what will the christians do if the situation in northern syria escalates. its women's if they're forced to flee with an open city they will somehow be fish and sadly that could happen in the next few years.
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to. come india. a merry should be sustainable. dream wedding on trend. entrepreneur in bangalore organizes the happiest day of your life. without too many sacrifices and it leaves everyone with a cool conscience to india. in 30 minutes w. .
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this is news live from bergland as the pandemic rages human rights. i must see international paints a grim picture and its annual report saying women's health workers and migrants have formed the brunt of the coronavirus governments have used it to stifle dissent we will hear from.

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