08.11.07 09:00 Alter: 4 yrs

Story of reconciliation in the town of Malkyieh, Syria


High dignitaries walking in the streets to Jawan's family house.

Metropolitan Matta Roham speaking, with next to him Jawan's father.

Kurds and Christians taking a meal together in the hall of the Armenian Church.

On Friday 2nd November 2007, the 30.000 residents of the town of Malkyieh in North East Syria came together to witness a special day for reconciliation of their two communities after the killing of a young Kurdish man Jawan Ahmad Ali in April 2007. The killing was a result of a childish fight between youngsters from both Kurdish and Christian communities.


Since April 2007, notable persons from both communities spent long days and unbreakable efforts to resolve this dangerous crisis and to prevent attempts of revenge. They were aware that revenge is not the way to bring peace to their town. They were convinced that forgiveness and reconciliation are the best values to pave the way for a future of trust, hope and peace. The outcome of several meetings between both sides was that the Kurdish community accepted reconciliation willingly in order to proof to the local Christian community and to the world at large that forgiveness, reconciliation and peace should prevail over hate, revenge and uproar.


Several thousands of people from both sides met near the house of Jawan's family. Speeches where delivered there by high representatives from both communities appraising the values of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace. Metropolitan Eustathius Matta Roham of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, and member of the WCC central Committee played an important role in this reconciliation, together with many religious and community leaders who spoke of the importance of establishing peace through forgiveness and reconciliation. This event was valued as an excellent model for  creating harmony, cooperation and peace between groups of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds. This peace meeting was concluded with a great meal prepared for hundreds of Kurds and Christians at the halls of the Armenian and Syrian Orthodox Churches.





This story has been contributed by Eustathius Matta Roham, Metropolitan of Jazirah & Euphrates Archdiocese, Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, Member of the Central Committee, WCC