Young Syrians marry in the ruins of church in devastated city of Homs

A young Syrian Christian couple have married in the ruins of their old church in the city of Homs, scarred by three years of fighting.

Fadi and Rana walk down the aisle to be married.Facebook

Fadi and Rana – their surnames have not been made public – met on a UNHCR training course after they had been forced to flee from the old city because of the fighting there. Fadi was teaching a vocational training course and Rana was attending another course for small business start-ups.

The couple before the makeshift altar.Facebook

Fadi, who worked in the pharmaceutical industry after his graduation from university in 2010, told UNHCR for a World Refugee Day article: "Soon after, we figured out that we are both from the same neighbourhood but we had never met before! Despite the short time we spent together, we found time to sit and talk. We got to know each other well, and discovered many common interests, and we simply fell in love."

Homs was the scene of protracted and bitter fighting between the Syrian army and rebel forces, and was effectively under siege for three years from May 2011 to 2014. Many residents left the old city as refugees because of the conflict. The Monastery Church of St George was largely destroyed and is open to the sky.

The congregation in the ruined church.Facebook

However, residents began to return last year after government forces regained control and so far around 2,000 have done so, Fadi and Rana among them. They have begun to rebuild the church, which posted pictures of their wedding on its Facebook page.

"I'm happy to see my old neighbourhood flourishing again, which was once the bustling center of Homs," Fadi said.