Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Maaloula rediviva

MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Virgin Mary Statue Rebuilt in Ancient Syrian Christian Town. Maalula, one of oldest Christian towns in world where Aramaic still spoken, celebrates as statue of Mary destroyed in fighting rebuilt (Arutz Sheva).
The historic Christian Syrian town of Maalula celebrated Saturday as a new statue of Mary, worshiped in Christianity as the mother of Jesus, was erected in its center, replacing the figure destroyed in rebel attacks in 2013.

Dozens of families gathered alongside government officials and religious dignitaries in the main square, which was adorned with government flags and a giant portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Located north of Damascus, Maalula is one of the world's oldest Christian settlements, and its inhabitants still speak Aramaic, a language spoken by Jews in Israel at the time Jesus was said to have lived.

Background on Maaloula (Ma'aloula, Malula) is here and here and links.