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Children celebrate Christmas in Damascus amid war

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 01:09

Dec. 28 - A Christian church in Damascus holds a colorful Christmas service for children, some of them displaced by Syria's conflict. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Santas in Damascus are coming together for a special Christmas service for Syrian children - some of them affected by the war. The relaxed and joyous celebration featured songs and gifts for the kids. But it also featured a dark reminder of the country's violence... photos of people killed in the conflict. Among the some 1,500 children there was an 8-year-old boy from the Christian town of Maaloula, which fell to rebel forces earlier this month. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EIGHT YEAR-OLD BOY FROM MAALOULA, ANAS SHANNIS, SAYING: "I ask God to bring Maaloula back. I hope Maaloula will return so we can go back there and have fun and study and play with our friends." Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria's population. One girl from Damascus says that despite the war it was still good to celebrate the holiday. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TEN YEAR-OLD GIRL FROM DAMASCUS, VIOLETTE, SAYING: "The children are having fun. It is nice to interact with the holiday and feel it more, especially that the atmosphere has changed. But anyway it is nice." The United Nations estimates that close to 6 million children have been affected by the war.

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Children celebrate Christmas in Damascus amid war

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 01:09