She was honored by the United States government for her courage and work in Damascus.
Sister Carol has received a prestigious award. It is the award granted by the US government to women who have displayed a tremendous amount of courage in extreme situations.
This Syrian Sister knows what those situations are like first hand, just as the war is about to turn 7 years old.
“Now the culture of children is the culture of war. They can distinguish the sound of missiles from those of cannons.” “Once, while saying good morning to the children I heard a boom. And I asked a teacher at my side, “What was that?” Immediately a child standing in front of me, about 4 years old, said to me: “Sister, that was a cannon.”
Sister Carol is a Salesian religious in Damascus. In the school that she runs, there are Christian and Muslim children who, unfortunately, distinguish what is, and isn’t a bomb. Luckily, though, they do not know of differences between religions and instead live in coexistence.
“If I decide to choose only Christians then I become worse than the extremists. I also become a fanatic. That’s why we live with openness.”
She speaks of a Syria in which, although there is war and suffering, the coexistence between religions is still as it was before the conflict.
“Sometimes when a missile hits or there is an explosion, many Muslim people knock on our door and ask us if we are alright or need something.”
The recent agreement on safe areas in Syria seems to give a breath of fresh air despite a very cramped situation. She says that Pope Francis is helping a lot.
“The Pope is doing a lot with his calls, with his words that awaken consciences. Pope Francis is the prophet of our day who does not remain silent.”
Above politics and bombs, the religious sister says that peace will reach Syria because everything ends, including wars. What does not seem to have an end, however, is her courage to remain in such a dangerous territory, when many flee.