A Syrian refugee creates a wooden copy of the famous Cologne Cathedral. Video

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When Syrian refugee Fadel Al-Khader from Aleppo arrived in Germany in 2015, the first thing he saw was the old Cologne Cathedral, which is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the western European city.

This huge and imposing religious building, famous for its intricate towers and ornamentation, amazed the 42-year-old.

Al-Khidr spent hours and hours examining its details, taking photographs and drawing paintings, before deciding to design a similar replica of a wooden copy.

A step that was a turning point in the life of Al-Khidr, who managed to make a replica and became the topic of conversation in the German media and all lovers of sculpture.

Al-Khidr told Euronews that he spent about three years, or some 5,000 hours of continuous work, making the two-meter-tall model in his small basement, which he has converted into a studio in Cologne.

The Syrian, who chose to drop out of high school and follow his father’s path and learn sculpture from the age of thirteen, said he often wondered if it was strange for a young Muslim to spend his time working for the largest house of worship. famous for Christians in Germany, to come back and answer “Not at all”.

The young man, who came to Germany after the Syrian war ended the years of exhaustion, says that he grew up in Aleppo before the civil war, and there were no problems between Muslims and Christians, and that his friends were of different religions, as well as the customers who used to go to the family store to buy his works of art.

The father of five adds: “When we were in Aleppo, there were no problems between the mosque and the church. Our neighbors were Christians and we were Muslims. We used to go to each other and there were no problems.”

Al-Khader is one of more than a million migrants who came to Germany from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in 2015, fleeing wars that have devastated their home countries, extreme poverty and economic crises that decimate young people. .

He initially worked different jobs that did not resemble his original profession to make a living. In 2017 she managed to bring her family, who had been in Turkey for years, to Germany. Since 2019, he has focused on designing the cathedral and hopes that in the future he can work as a sculptor in Germany.

To create a sculpture similar to his beloved cathedral, Al Khader bought beech wood and used some 50-year-old tools that his father had brought him.

After years of effort, he managed to create a masterpiece that was taller than two meters high, 1.40 meters wide and is now on display in the cathedral’s visitor center in front of the original building.

Al-Suri hopes to be able to exhibit his woodwork in other cities as well: “For me, the cathedral is the home of all people,” he says.


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