Thursday, 18 July 2024


The year 1967 was a great setback for the Arab nation, but it was a greater catastrophe for my flock and church.

We had just finished with our church, and we were very proud of what we had done. The other churches and some of the believers gave the church very valuable icons. We brought the marble from Italy , and chandeliers from other countries, so the church was a pleasant sight for the eye and a comfort for the hearts. Then came the Israeli aggression of 1967, and my city ,the city of Qunietra was stormed by Israeli soldiers.

Many of you perhaps don’t know Qunietra .It is a city of 53 thousand inhabitants, forty percent of which are Christians .The people used to call it the flower of the Golan heights in Syria .It’s the site where saint poul passed by some tow thousand years ago , and it is the city where I used to live.


The people of Qunietra were uprooted and driven away from their homes.

My flock was forced to leave as well .we waited..For seven long years we waited to go back .in 1973 there was the war of October and a few months after the Israeli soldiers withdrew from Qunietra , the flower of the Golan heights .my flock and I were among the first to enter the city ,or should I say what was left of the city .it reminded me of Hiroshima ,it…. I can not find the words .. I can not find the words.

I went inside the church, the church I helped to build with my own hands … what an awesome sight to see!! 

It was party destroyed, but totally bare … looted. The cross, the bell, the valuable icons, the chandeliers, the windows were either broken or looted, even the marble was stripped. As for my house, well I could not locate it among the huge pile of rubble surrounding the church. 

I kept repeating to myself: How could they have done this? How could a human being have done something like this? But some people are not human beings!!! I have heard of what the Israeli soldiers have done in their places they occupied, but what they did to Qunietra is unbelievably shocking. 

Even the cemetery, where some of my flock were laying dead in peace among other Christian brothers, was desecrated The Israeli soldiers forced half of the tombs open using crowbars, machine guns, and even hand grenades. And for what? Small pieces of earthly gold, or a bracelet or just a golden tooth. It was horrifying….. Ghoulish…. Unhuman .


I am not relating a story, but describing a tragedy. I am not asking for a favour, but demanding a right to be restrored. The dead have to be reburied. The city has to be rebuilt. And the flock has to be rejoined. 

As for the judgement, brothers, I leave that to your hearts and consciences.


The Reverened Father 

George Muhassal

Priest of the Greek Orthodox Church in QUNIETRA




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