By Esam Hamzeh
It was a very beautiful day when I went to visit the oldest Christian city in the world, in the countryside outside Damascus. That city is Ma’loula.
To reach it, I had to climb the mountain. It stands proudly near Damascus, telling the world: “I carry the great history of Christianity, and hold with my hand the great Islamic history as well.”
I have deep respect for this. I am Muslim, and we believe in Christianity and Judaism. Both of them are mentioned in our holy book, the Quran.
I climbed 600 steps to drink from a tiny mountain spring. This spring is inside the church. The place is very old and beautiful, and I could feel the great history it represents to the world.
The church is very close to a mosque. The people live together without any problems.
All the people of Syria, with all their different ethnicities, have lived peacefully for thousands of years. We are Syrian, and we live together without any problems, and our history is our best witness for this.
Painting by Esam Hamzeh/ esamhamzeh.com