The Syrian city of Maaloula was invaded by ISIS in September 2013. They destroyed every holy Christian site and forced thousands to flee. The nuns of the Orthodox Monastery of Saint Thekla, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remained, but they were kidnapped by the invaders a few months later.
They were released in 2014, the city was freed, and the town and monastery started being restored. The nuns have finally been able to return and the monastery, almost completely reconstructed, just reopened., attracting again many tourists.
The sisters are very much appreciated by the local population.