|1999||Tentative list||Submitted as tentative site by State Party|Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I visited Maalula, from Damascus. The distance between these two cities is short.
When I arrived to Maalula I noticed that it looked like a troglodyte village with many of its houses built on rocks walls.
According to my conversations with the natives, 80 per cent of the population is Christian in Maalula, and for five churches there is only one mosque.
I traveled to Maalula in 1988, so presently I do not know the percentage of Christian, but I am very afraid that is not 80 per cent, but much less. Probably most of the Christians have left the country in recent years or simply they have been killed for being Christian, as it often happens in countries such as Pakistan, Somalia, Egypt, Syria, etc.
In fact I travelled to Maalula when I learnt that its people are the last in the world to speak the Western Aramaic language, the language of Jesus Christ.
I did not spend the night in Maalula, but kept on travelling around the whole of Syria.
Date posted: April 2014
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