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Rome Reports

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Six years of war in Syria: the same age as the daughter of Bassam and Gollet

The pope greeted the members of the Focolare Movement who participated in a congress on the family. There were couples from 50 countries, including that of Gollet and Bassam. They come from Syria and have a daughter who recently turned six; the same age as the civil war. GOLLET  "We had our daughter after eight years of marriage, of waiting, of much suffering for us. When she was born, the war broke out. I told myself it cannot be that her life begins in these circumstances.â? BASSAM "For a period we thought about leaving the country, like so many others. However, we felt that this was our vocation: we must stay here to take care of others." A few miles outside of their little village, refugee families arrive. At present it is estimated that there are more than six million displaced persons inside the country. BASSAM   "We wondered what we could do for all these people. We asked to open the schools. There were people without heating, water, electricity. With the help of other families from the Focolare Movement, we managed to overcome these difficulties and offer these services to everyone." Gollet and Bassam explain that the help of the other families of the Focolare Movement has been key to sustaining refugees and themselves. Their spirituality and closeness has helped them to overcome the moments of discouragement. BASSAM   "My nephew was a soldier. Four years ago they called him in and after two months they told us he was dead. We suffered great pain. Then we understood, thank God, how to accept this situation." GOLLET  "This is the first time I have come to the Vatican. It's a wonderful thing, I cannot describe it. I'm here but I feel like I'm flying, I cannot believe we're here. We prayed together for peace and for all the countries that suffer the war." Gollet and Bassam have not traveled to Rome to stay, but to gather strength and return home, where they will find a completely different picture. They say that only God can put an end to this war, but they are trusting in the potential miracle. JRB/MB AA / CTV FL -PR Up:JRB