Meet Dr. Tony Makdisi: With Syria in his heart, a hope for its return to peace

A Christmas visit to Syria was obviously out of the question for Dr. Tony Makdisi. He and his wife and daughters last went back in 2009, before civil war tore his country apart.

They celebrate Christmas at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church at 1304 North St. in Pittsfield. And they have Christmas phone calls with their relatives in Syria: Makdisi has five sisters there.

“They celebrate Christmas more or less like always,” he says about them. “They live their lives more or less like always.”

He explains that not all of Syria is suffering the ravages of war the way the city and people of Aleppo are...