Weekly Media Summary 11 August 2017

August

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about the execution of Isis members by the Iraqi government for their role in the Camp Speicher killings, and the possible reopening of the main highway between Baghdad and Amman.

Iraq

Independent: Iraq to hang Isis members over role in massacre of army recruits at Camp Speicher 

Guardian: Iraq sends workers home as ‘ungodly’ heat grips Middle East 

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Jordan urges reopening of Iraq border, expediting pipeline project

Business Insider: Jordan king in rare West Bank trip seen as message to Israel

Verse of the Day 

“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.” Psalm 119:14 NIV

 

 

Surviving in Jordan – An Update from our Project Officer in Amman

August

Three months after moving to Jordan from the US and I am writing with hope, determination and an increased thirst to help the Iraqi Christian refugees here. In July I set up an English class in Madaba, a city to the south of Amman, which has given me the opportunity to get to know the people we are helping.

Iraqi children at our English class in Madaba draw their family trees
 

Last week, I visited a family recently arrived from a displacement camp in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Thanks to your support, they are now living in a small apartment in Amman. They are so grateful for the improved living conditions we have been able to provide. In Iraq, the husband, Rafed, was a civil engineer. His face lit up as he spoke about his past. He showed me photos of churches in Iraq he helped design and build. Despite his new life as a refugee, he is happy that his family are safe from the sectarian violence they saw in their homeland. Before FRRME came to their aid, his wife was forced to sell all her jewellery to pay for food. However, she told me she managed to hold on to her wedding ring.

Rafed’s wife and children
 

This week I visited another family. The dad, Wassim, is a former IT manager who worked on computers for the US Army and NATO forces. Wassim and his family arrived in Jordan a year and a half ago. Prior to that, they lived in a displacement camp in Erbil. While it is tough in Jordan – Wassim toils as a labourer seven days a week and is only paid £7 / $10 per day – he really appreciates his new life. He is extremely grateful for the support we give him and his family which includes monthly food packages. Despite feeling exhausted from work, Wassim is hopeful that things will get better. He and his family dream of going to Australia but the asylum process can take years.

Wassim with his children
 

After three months in Jordan, I feel I am really getting to know the families we are helping. My eyes have been opened to the challenges and hardships they endure on a daily basis. Our mission is to help make their lives a little bit easier. Whether this is through the provision of food packages, rent money, or English classes, with your support we will continue to give them hope for the future.

Blog written by Helena Scott, FRRME’s Project Officer in Jordan.

A Future for Iraqi Christians DVD
 


We have produced a short film called ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’ which gives an overview of our mission. A DVD of the film is available for £5 plus £2.20 P&P from our shop. To order a copy please click here.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Stewardship

We are registered with Stewardship, which has set up a support fund for our foundation. You can also support us by making gifts to Stewardship for our fund. Where applicable, the value of your gifts may be increased by use of Gift Aid (worth 25% if you are a UK taxpayer). Please see the attached FORM. Once complete, please return to: Stewardship, Unit A, 1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB.

Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team

Telling the Untold: “A Future for Iraqi Christians” DVD

August

Reconciliation at its most basic is the ability to live alongside one’s neighbour, building stable communities, without fear of retribution, and yet acknowledging the need for accountability. FRRME exists to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation in the Middle East, seeing peace building through the reconciliation of communities and economic rejuvenation.

Our work, made possible with your support, continues to communicate the untold stories to a wider audience. We have produced a DVD ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’, which is a 10 minute file about our work, available for £5 plus £2.20 P&P from our shop HERE

The IDPs and refugees we help with your support have been part of a war which has been labelled the worst human disaster since World War II, with incalculable effects for the civilian population in terms of forced displacement and human suffering. There are been a particular measured impact on the religious minorities of Iraq (and Syria), in some cases with numbers down by 80% (reference Centre on Global Migration CGM). The suffering we have heard of is, at its very least, the destruction of livelihoods such as the experiences of Alen or Ammar and his family we have reported in previous weeks, Iraqi Christian refugees forced to flee for their lives to the relative safety of Jordan.  At its most extreme, it has been the attempted genocide of the indigenous people of Iraq.

As the post-ISIS conflict era emerges, FRRME is committed to the process of peace building through reconciliation, activated by the awareness of relief needs reported by our Director of Operations in the Middle East and Project Officers. Much of this is achieved through the building of partnership with Iraqi NGOs partners and church leaders, many of whom attended the recent meeting in Brussels entitled ‘A Future for Christians in Iraq’, at which FRRME was represented.

Dr. Sarah Ahmed, FRRME Director of Operations in the Middle East, celebrates the freedom of a baby born into slavery under the rule of Daesh (ISIS).

The UK Government are providing over £15m of support for UN stabilisation efforts in Iraq, working alongside Iraqi NGOs to provide security, reconstruction and reconciliation. However 2 years of extreme suffering under ISIS control has severely tested the resilience of the people of Iraq, and in particular the minorities whose communities have been broken. This is where your support, both financial and through prayer, is so important. The untold suffering and rejection goes to the very heart of individuals and communities, affecting the greatest to the least.

At the Brussels conference “A Future for Christians in Iraq”, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Syriac Orthodox Church summarised this frustration of Iraqi Christians on the subject of ‘Our Last Stand: Saving Christianity in Iraq’.  His impassioned appeal on their behalf was simple:

  • To live with dignity on their forefathers lands;
  • The need of homes, regardless of political definition, with the freedom to practice their religion in dignity
  • The need to define the status of their homes in agreement and cooperation with the Iraqi Government and the Kurdish Regional Government.
  • For aid provision to continue to reach those most in need. There were still many cases of people with no water or facilities, still living in tents for 2 years.
  • The longer resolution would take, the less who would wish to stay.

Please click HERE to order a copy of our DVD ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’ available at our shop for £5 plus £2.20 P&P. We hope to introduce more people to our mission to serve the disenfranchised, dispossessed and the displaced.

Many thanks, the FRRME Team.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Stewardship

 We are registered with Stewardship, which has set up a support fund for our foundation. You can also support us by making gifts to Stewardship for our fund. Where applicable, the value of your gifts may be increased by use of Gift Aid (worth 25% if you are a UK taxpayer). Please see the attached FORM. Once complete, please return to: Stewardship, Unit A, 1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB.

Weekly Media Summary 4 August 2017

August

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about the Christian-sponsored reconstruction of Karamdes, a predominantly Christian town in northern Iraq recently under Islamic State control, and a plea from King Abdullah of Jordan calling on his citizens to “work together” to tackle the many challenges facing the country.

Iraq

Catholic Herald: Knights to send $2 million to restore Christian town in Iraq

Kurdistan 24: Only in Kurdistan are rights of ethnic, religious groups protected: Assyrian party

Jordan

The Jordan Times: King calls for proactivity as country tackles challenges

The Jordan Times: King’s donation to Jerusalem awqaf ‘reflects Hashemite pro-Jerusalem policy’

 

8 churches in Baghdad close… but we are still there

August

Baghdad

CBN News reports this week that eight Catholic churches in Baghdad were closed in May. The decision, taken by the Vatican, is the result of a dwindling congregation, many of whom have fled the city or are too afraid to go to Sunday Mass. Despite this sad news, we will continue to fund the health clinic at St George’s Church and provide food packages to members of the congregation there.

St George’s in Baghdad, the only Anglican Church in Iraq
 

For those wanting to support our work at St George’s, here is a reminder of what the clinic offers and what it costs to run.

Northern Iraq

As Iraqi government forces clear the last remnants of ISIS from Mosul and the surrounding area, 700,000 of the city’s inhabitants are still displaced and living in an archipelago of temporary camps. Our team on the ground visited two of these camps this week, providing food and water to occupants of Debaga camp in Makhmour, which is home to over 30,000 IDPs, and Hassan Sham, an emergency processing camp on the outskirts of Mosul. Here are some photos from the visit:

If you would like to support our work, please make a donation. Every donation, however small, makes a big difference to the people we are helping in Iraq and Jordan.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Stewardship

 We are registered with Stewardship, which has set up a support fund for our foundation. You can also support us by making gifts to Stewardship for our fund. Where applicable, the value of your gifts may be increased by use of Gift Aid (worth 25% if you are a UK taxpayer). Please see the attached FORM. Once complete, please return to: Stewardship, Unit A, 1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB.

Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team

August 2017 Prayer Diary

Please click the button below to read our monthly prayer diary:

August 2017 Prayer Diary

Please note that the Prayer Diary is also accessible through the new Prayermate App which can be accessed by following the instructions below:

Instructions for Prayermate App

Weekly Media Summary 28 July 2017

July

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about the rebuilding of Mosul post-ISIS and a feature about the Zaatari refugee camp which is now Jordan’s fourth largest city.

Iraq

Reuters: After IS, Mosul rebuilds moments, mosques – and society

Al Monitor: With Islamic State gone, barbers are busy in Mosul

Jordan

ABC News: Zaatari refugee camp: The ‘temporary’ shelter that’s become Jordan’s fourth largest city

Independent: Two Jordanians killed and Israeli man injured in shooting at Israeli embassy compound in Amman

 

After Mosul, we must continue to help Iraqi Christians

July

Turn on the television and you will see that Mosul has been liberated. This much-vaunted victory has cost 40,000 civilian lives. Some of the liberators have committed what is politely referred to in the western media as “extrajudicial killings” – throwing suspects off rooftops and running over them with tanks. Could this be a portent of the sectarian violence to come? If so, what future is there for Iraqi Christians?

The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh remains abandoned months after the town was liberated from Islamic State – Christians are too afraid to return 
 

Even with Mosul and the surrounding area wrenched from Islamic State control, the persecution of minorities, particularly Christians, has not stopped. During a recent speech in southern Iraq, Sheikh Alaa Al-Mousawi, head of Iraq’s Shia Endowment, called Christians “infidels who must convert to Islam or be killed”. We’ve come to expect this kind of rhetoric from Islamic State, but not from someone connected to the Iraqi government.

Sheikh Alaa Al-Mousawi (image obtained from YouTube)
 

In the north of the country, Iraqi Kurdistan is on the cusp of independence (a vote is planned for September). The semi-autonomous region currently shelters Iraq’s displaced Christian community but will this continue to be the case once independence has been attained? If they are allowed to remain, will Christians be afforded the full panoply of rights, including the right to work and the right to health care?

Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan
 

And what about Islamic State? Following reports about the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, will the  group collapse? The answer is probably not. Now it has been uprooted in Iraq, some have suggested that the group will become nebulous, that is to say it will scatter into the ether and spread its violent ideology where and when it can. In a sense, it will become more like its progenitor Al Qaeda.

Islamic State fighters annexed Mosul in the summer of 2014 – much of the city is now rubble
 

The future of Iraq and its religious minorities is more uncertain than ever. Sadly, western governments do not much care for the plight of Iraqi Christians. In America they are busy trying to deport them and the UK will only take 20,000 Syrian refugees, nearly all Muslim. Consequently, Iraqi Christians continue to languish in IDP camps or live as refugees in neighbouring countries.

We have been feeding the displaced and dispossessed since the humanitarian crisis began
 

It is only Christian charity that is helping these desperate people. With your support, we are continuing to feed over 7,000 Iraqi Christians, both in the north of the country and in Baghdad, where we fully find a health clinic at St George’s, the only Anglican church in Iraq. We are also feeding 700 Iraqi Christian families in Jordan. Please support our mission.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Thank you for your support,
The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 21 July 2017

July

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about a mooted ‘safe haven’ for Iraqi Christians in northern Iraq and an interesting analysis by Jordanian economist, Riad Al Khouri, that the Arab Spring continues to have seismic repercussions in the Middle East and beyond.

Iraq

National Catholic Register: Middle Eastern Christians Propose a Safe Haven in Iraq

Al-Monitor: Shiite Kurds challenge Iraqi Kurdistan independence

Jordan

The Jordan Times: ‘Arab Spring’ is a ‘continuous process’ – Jordanian economist

Newsweek: Jordan soldier sentenced to life for murder of three U.S. special forces

You give refugee children in Jordan hope

July

From the blood-soaked plains of northern Iraq to the dusty backstreets of Jordan, the 700 Iraqi Christian families in our care have lived through hell. It is thanks to your support that they still have hope. Please read on for the latest update and please make a donation (giving options at the bottom of this update).

Summer camp at the Assemblies of God Church
 

Our Iraqi refugee children have been attending summer camp at the various churches we partner with in Jordan. At the Assemblies of God Church in Madaba, a city to the south of the capital Amman, the children spent the day singing, laughing, playing, and learning about Jesus and his love for them. Aptly, Madaba is twinned with Bethlehem and has become a haven for Iraqi Christians since Islamic State invaded their homeland in the summer of 2014.

Summer camp at the Greek Catholic Church
 

At the Greek Catholic Church in Fuheis, which is run by the indefatigable Father Bolis, the children showed off their creativity, drawing pictures of Jesus.

They also made toys out of paper mache. This might seem perfectly normal until you consider that Islamic State banned toys in its territory. It is only in the last few weeks that dolls and teddy bears have gone on sale again in Mosul.

It is hard to be a child when you don’t have a home but through our church partnerships in Jordan, we are doing what we can to give the refugee children in our care a sense of normality as well as a place to practice their Christian faith. Please continue supporting this work.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Thank you for your support,
The FRRME Team
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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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