We still do not know exactly what happened in Maaloula, the town with a Christian majority which is located at the side of Qalamun, about sixty kilometres from Damascus, which was attacked by jihadists at the beginning of September and then abandoned by most of the population. With the two religious houses of St. Takla and of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, Maaloula has an outstanding artistic heritage. But above all else it is here that is still to be heard western neo-Aramaic, a language related to Palestinian Aramaic, ‘the language of Jesus’, that is to say. Another symbol, which shook all the Christians of the Middle East. The war affects the whole of the country, as far as the distant Deir ez-Zor on the Euphrates where the French built a suspension bridge in the 1920s during the Mandate. It had become the image of this city without a history (a rare case in Syria). Ending up on the front line between the rebels and the loyalist forces, and the subject of attacks by the national air force, this bridge collapsed in May of this year, with the usual shifting of responsibility.
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