EDLEB, Syria — During the 10 years of civil war, the northern Syrian Governorate of Edleb (Idlib) suffered systematic shelling, destruction, and displacement by several armed parties and groups. Most residents, especially the Christian population, fled their homes for safer parts of Syria or emigrated.
Despite the displacement of most of the areas Christians, 90-year-old Michel Boutros Jisri, a member of the Syriac Orthodox Church stayed put. He remained in his modest home, an exceptional case for the Christian and Syriac people in the region.
Like others, Jisri’s family left Edleb to escape the shelling and fighting between the Syrian regime and groups now backed by Turkey. Three of his brothers now live in Holeb (Aleppo) Governorate. His fourth brother emigrated to the United States.
According to Jisri, his nephews settled in Holeb but he knows nothing about them. He doesn’t have contact with his brother in the United States either.
Jisri spends his time caring for birds at home. To get by, he relies on assistance and aid from humanitarian organizations in the region and the kindness of his neighbors.
Despite all his suffering, Jisri has not stop performing his prayers, fasting, and reading the Holy Gospel. Jisri says he always exchanges congratulations with his Muslim neighbors on both Christian and Muslim holidays.