An update from Jordan

May

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of Jordanian Independence and there were encouraging words from King Abdullah who spoke of “unity, freedom and pluralism” as well as “religious harmony”. In the wake of ISIS, this is the reason that so many Iraqi Christians have made their way to the Hashemite Kingdom.
FRRME has been working in Jordan since the beginning of 2015. Our mission there is to help the thousands of Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes. Since then, we have set up a food voucher programme which provides food for 500 Iraqi families. We have also set up a school in Marka (a suburb of Amman), which is attended by 175 pupils.
This week, Lord Jack McConnell, Vice President of UNICEF UK, wrote that “the impact of conflict, violence and displacement on education in Iraq has been nothing short of devastating.” He is right. That is why FRRME, with your support, continues to provide a broad-curriculum education to as many children as possible.

Currently, the Jordanian Government won’t give work permits to Iraqi refugees, which makes it very hard for them to stand on their own two feet. In tandem with this, UK Government policy forbids Iraqi refugees from entering the country, only Syrian. Given this state of affairs, many Iraqi refugee children face a grim future.

Education for our refugee children is essential. Without it, they will become a lost generation. If you would like to support our school in Marka, please consider making a donation via our website by clicking on this link. Single donations and monthly donations are both very welcome. Thank you.
The FRRME Team.

Weekly Media Summary 20 May 2016

May

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the IMF’s $5.4 billion loan to Iraq; the joint US-Jordanian War Games; the international campaign to boycott Israel; and Canon Andrew White in the media.

Iraq

Reuters: IMF agrees $5.4 billion standby loan for Iraq

The Washington Post: Iraqi forces retake Rutbah from ISIS and eye Fallujah for next battle

Jordan

Defense News: Only US To Join Annual Jordan War Games

International Business Times: Inside al-Zarqa: Will Isis ambush Jordan’s ‘waiting generation’?

Israel / Palestine

Middle East Monitor: Defend right to boycott Israel, urge European NGOs, political parties

Haaretz: Outgoing Defense Minister Ya’alon: Extremists Have Taken Over Israel

Canon Andrew White in the Media

South China Morning Post: Communication is key to ending persecution, says ‘Vicar of Baghdad’

BBC News: New hope for Holy Land’s minefield churches

Weekly Media Summary 13 May 2016

May

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the IS attack on Baghdad; the impact of the Syrian / Iraqi refugee crisis on the Jordanian monarchy; and the killing of a leading Hezbollah commander / key Israel target in Syria.

Iraq

BBC News: IS conflict: Dozens killed in Baghdad car bombings

Reuters: Iraq says Islamic State control shrinks to 14 percent of its territory

Jordan

The Daily Caller: Middle East Expert Warns Refugee Crisis Could Topple Jordanian King

Catholic Herald Online: Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

Israel / Palestine

Guardian: Leading Hezbollah commander and key Israel target killed in Syria

Breaking Israel News: Evangelical Christians join the Yom Ha’Atzamut celebrations

 

 

Canon Andrew White in Hong Kong

May

Dear Friends,
This week I am in Hong Kong where I am meeting with some of our key supporters. On arrival, I was immediately stuck by how beautiful the city is – the view over Kowloon Bay is amazing.
The view over Kowloon Bay
One of my first meetings was with Rabbi Asher from the Ohel Leah Synagogue. Originally, the Jewish community of Hong Kong were mostly from Baghdad. These days the city plays host to Jews from across the world. Rabbi Asher and I spoke about many things, including the persecuted church in the Middle East.
Canon Andrew with Rabbi Asher
I also attended a meeting of pastors from around the world. The turnout was amazing. I told them about the plight of our Iraqi brothers and sisters and they prayed for them. It has been a devestating week for our people in Baghdad – yesterday ISIS suicide bombers killed dozens of people in a busy open air market.
Canon Andrew with a group of international pastors
As many of you will know, I love pens. My favourite is still my Pelikan M1000 with green ink. Knowing this, my dear friend, John Snelgrove, took me to the smallest but greatest pen shop I have ever been to – Hop Cheong Pen Shop. It is well worth a visit if you’re ever in Hong Kong.
Canon Andrew at Hop Cheong Pen Shop with John Snelgrove
I have a packed week ahead of me – I will be speaking at The Justice Conference Asia on Saturday with lots of other speakers from around the world. I will be talking about events in Iraq and the work we are doing to help those affected by the sectarian violence.
As I often say, we must pray for peace but we must also pay for peace. If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit frrme.org. If you would like to make a donation please click here.
Grace and Peace,
Abouna Andrew
Emeritus Vicar of Baghdad

Weekly Media Summary 6 May 2016

May

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the persecution of Christians in Iraq; the growing refugee crisis in Jordan; and escalating tensions in Israel / Palestine.

Iraq

The Christian Times: Christians at risk of being wiped out in Iraq and Syria amid intense persecution from ISIS

Fox News: Iraq defeated IS in Ramadi at a high cost: A city destroyed

Jordan

Telegraph: Record 60,000 Syrians wait for refuge at Jordan border as regime assault on Aleppo displaces thousands

The Jerusalem Post: Jordanian security forces capture homing pigeon delivered by ISIS

Israel / Palestine

Guardian: Israel finds Hamas tunnel under border with Gaza

The Times of Israel: Palestinian with knife arrested at Tomb of the Patriarchs

 

Aid reaches Harsham and Debaga camps in Northern Iraq

May

Dear Friends,
This week, my team in Northern Iraq distributed more food packages, including fresh bread, cheese, yogurt and qishta (a type of clotted cream used in Middle Eastern cooking). Some of the people were crying because the bread was hot (this is a rare luxury for those living in IDP camps).
We were finally able to install a steel gate at the the entrance to Harsham Camp in Erbil. Previously the camp had been completely open, which was a major security issue for the residents. They now feel more protected.
We are continuing our work with the Yazidi girls, many of whom have suffered horrendous sexual and physical abuse at the hands of ISIS. The girls and their families are residing in a survivors camp in Dohuk. It is so sad to see the trauma they have suffered.
According to the IDMC, there are at least 3.3 million internally displaced Iraqis, many of whom are living in the camps we visit each week. The saddest sight of all is seeing the children – they have no home, no future, and many of them are suffering from malnutrition. But thanks to your support, we are helping the most vulnerable.
We cannot reach everyone but our targetted distribution of aid makes life more bearable for those at the heart of this humanitarian crisis. As ever, our priority is always the children.
If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit frrme.org.

If you would like to support our work, please visit the donation page on our website, or make a donation to The Emergency Appeal for Iraqi Refugees. Your continued support makes all the difference. Thank you.

Peace and Love,

Dr Sarah Ahmed
Director of Operations in the Middle East

Weekly Media Summary 29 April 2016

April

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the Mosul offensive; a visit by Queen Rania of Jordan to child refugees in Lesbos; and Israeli concerns about Isil on its northern border.

Iraq

Washington Post: In Iraq, the Mosul offensive is off to a slow and shaky start

Christian Post: Christians on the Brink of Extinction Amid Unrelenting Genocide in Iraq, Syria

Jordan

Independent: Jordan’s Queen Rania visits child refugees in Lesbos and calls for ‘exceptional response’

Haaretz: Palestinian Authority, Hamas Preempt Jordanian Security Cameras on Temple Mount

Israel / Palestine

Telegraph: Israel worries about Isil terrorists on northern border, within 20 miles of town of Safed

The New York Times: Obama-Netanyahu Rift Impedes U.S. Offer of Record Aid Deal for Israel

 

 

An update from Iraq, Israel and Jordan

April

Dear Friends,
With temperatures in the region of 40C/100F, Iraq is in a terrible way, both politically and economically. The parliament has not been meeting, there are violent protests in Baghdad, and the oil revenue is starting to dry up. Despite this, we are still working on the front line. Yesterday, Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, gave out 25 kg bags of flour to over 1,000 Iraqi IDP families in Erbil, Northern Iraq.
While the so-called Islamic State is no longer recruiting the large number of overseas fighters that it was, it still maintains its strength. This week, they blew up the famous “Clock Church” in Mosul, one of the most iconic churches in the Middle East. Click on the image below to read Breitbart’s news story about this:
As I have been saying for a long while, it is as if we are entering a third world war. However, despite the bad news in Iraq, I was heartened to spend Passover in Jerusalem on my way back to Jordan.
Being back in Jordan this week has given me hope. The 500 Iraqi refugee families we are helping there are, thanks to your continued support, doing well. Below is a group photo we took yesterday (I am in the middle at the front). It is always great being back in Jordan with out brothers and sisters in Christ.

I will shortly be visiting the West Bank for a very special project. I will let you know more about this in my next update.

If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit frrme.org. If you would like to make a donation please click here.
Grace and Peace,
Abouna Andrew
Emeritus Vicar of Baghdad
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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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