We recently finished out trip to Syria-- The majority of our time was spent in Damascus although we spent one day in Aleppo. Damascus is really a wonderful city. The Islamic history runs deep, Islam is present in the people and being that it is the world's oldest continually-inhabited city there is plenty to explore and see. There are plenty of opportunities to seek Islamic knowledge or to learn Arabic, and I pray that Allah will bring us back there to do just that.
One of the greatest blessings that we had while we were there was the random families that welcomed us into their homes for tea, or so they could show us where they lived-- the brothers that shared food in the mosque with the men in our group, or gave them tours of mosques. Muslims happy simply to have brotherhood with other Muslims. It is a brotherhood that is alive in Syria as you walk the streets and see posters in support of Gaza everywhere-- Everything from photographs of the terror and destruction, to artistry promoting rallies. Lots of people wearing the Palestinian scarf, stores with Israli flags in front of their entrances on the ground so people would step on them as they walked in, and of course the fact that if a person has a Visa in their passport from Occupied Palestine, they will be denied entry into Syria. Small acts of solidarity that unify the ummah.
Two days ago my husband's uncle went to Gaza for the second time recently. He is a Turkish MP and especially since the cease fire, Turkey has been rallying to get aid to our brothers in Gaza. My husbands uncle is off to help with that task, and has been meeting with Egyptian authorities to arrange the airlift of Gazan citizens in need of medical attention to Turkish hospitals.
The reason I mention this is Turkey is quick to pick up criticism from other Muslims. It is easy to label them a secular country who practise a cultural Islam yet at the same time, Turkey has been one of the largest suppliers of aid and support to Gaza since the start of the recent attacks. While other countries like Egypt whose border is shared with Gaza, have seemed to have gone to be with Israel, while the Palestinians on the other side are imprisoned in their own land--- or of course major financial powers like Saudi do nothing to stop the attrocity despite their being what most Muslims view as the "Islamic Center". Of course this doesn't even touch on the political lack of support by both Egypt and Saudi-- or rather their political allignment with the enemies of our Muslim brothers. I am proud of the efforts I have seen by Muslim brothers and sisters in Turkey. Attempts are being made to help.
Lastly, the person in charge of IHH-- a relief organization stationed out of Turkey and responsible for huge amounts of aid being distributed to Gaza from Turkey, called my husband's uncle before he left for Gaza and said one powerful comment that needs to be heard...
" The people of Gaza are happy about our victory, but saddened that they didnt get to be martyred."
A statement that shows true Iman, that shows that important ability to seek Allah even in the worst of circumstance, and the love of Allah over all things, including the safety of ones family and self.