Damascus

Are we finally seeing ‘Damascus taken away from being a city? Coronavirus containment leaves Damascus ‘completely paralysed.’ Put a check mark next to another Bible Prophecy completed.

Isaiah 17:1 King James Version (KJV)

17 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

Are we finally seeing ‘Damascus taken away from being a city? Coronavirus containment leaves Damascus ‘completely paralysed’

Date of publication: 27 March, 2020 The New Arab

On a deserted street in the old city of Damascus, the new coronavirus has forced salesmen like Ahmad to close up shop indefinitely for the first time in Syria‘s war.

“We’ve lived through some tough times during the war,” says the 59-year-old, sitting on a chair on the pavement outside his textiles shop.

But “never in my life have I seen the markets and shops close for days on end like now”.

All around him, businesses have pulled down their metal blinds or covered up their stands.

The scene is the same across much of the Syrian capital, with squares and markets once thronging with people even during the war now almost entirely empty.

In the century-old covered bazaar of Hamidiya, workers in orange jumpsuits and face masks spray down wooden doors bolted shut with padlocks.

Five (5) cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country since Sunday, and the authorities have ordered all non-essential businesses closed.

Ahmad this week called in his employees to give them their monthly wages and ask them all to go home.

The shopkeeper says he’s never known anything like it.

Even as rockets rained down during the conflict, the shops would not remain shut for long, he says.

“I don’t know how we’re going to live without work,” lamented the tradesman, who supports a family of four including himself.

Eighty percent of Syrians already live under the poverty line, according to the United Nations.

Syria’s conflict has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since starting in 2011 with anti-government protests.

It has also ravaged the economy and laid waste to much of the country’s infrastructure, including the health sector.

‘War of a different kind’

Even with just a handful of cases so far, Damascus has been increasingly taking precautions across the 70 percent of Syria that it controls.

It has closed the border with Lebanon, issued the first night-time curfew ever in the conflict, and suspended transport between provinces.

Schools and universities have closed, as have parks, restaurants, coffee shops and othernon-essential businesses.

“At the end of 2011, I felt we were heading into the unknown,” Ahmad says.

The guns largely fell silent around Damascus in 2018, after government forces expelled rebels and jihadists from its edges.

But today, “we might be heading into a war of a different kind,” Ahmad says, against a “hidden enemy”.

In another neighbourhood, the city’s world-renowned Omayyad Mosque has for the first time in years closed its gates.

Nearby, shops have also slammed their wooden shutters closed in Hamidiya market.

Apart from the men in jumpsuits spraying shutters with watered-down disinfectant, barely a handful of people walk through.

Among them, engineering student Mustafa is on his way to a pharmacy to stock up on supplies.

Wearing a pale blue surgical mask and plastic gloves, the 24-year-old surveys the empty street.

For years, “Damascus bustled on energetically — despite the death, the shelling and the stray bullets,” he says.

“But today with the coronavirus, the city is completely paralysed.”

Consultations via phone app

Mustafa was supposed to graduate this year, but with lectures now suspended he is not so sure.

“When the decision came out to close all universities, I realised we were really in danger,” he says.

“Corona is more than our healthcare capacities can take.”

The World Health Organization reports that barely 60 percent of the country’s hospitals were functioning at the end of last year, and that 70 percent of health workers have fled the country.

Tho doctors who are left are doing their best to make up for the shortfall.

One of them, Dr Hussein Najjar, 37, has gathered fellow medical practitioners and scientists to dispense advice via a smartphone application.

The app, whose name translates as “Doctor’s stethoscope”, allows users to consult the experts directly with questions about the virus.

The idea, Najjar says, is to reach as many people as possible.

Throughout the war, Najjar has tended to the wounded from mortar fire or explosions, and performed more than 200 operations.

But he says this fight will likely be tougher.

“The enemy this time is unknown. It attacks silently,” he says.

The only silver lining, he says, is that Syria will benefit from the experience of countries already on the front lines.

As the number of people infected by the virus climbs across the world, Najjar has been furiously networking with fellow doctors to best prepare.

“The battle with the coronavirus will be an all-out battle,” he says. “We have no choice.”

Isaiah 17:1 King James Version (KJV)

17 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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