Surviving ISIS – an update from Northern Iraq,  by Dr Sarah Ahmed

January

Dear Friends,
There have been so many reports this past year about the terrible plight of the Yazidi sex slaves. While it was heartening to see the recent nomination of Nadia Murad Basee Tahan for the Nobel Peace Prize(Nadia was captured by ISIS and used as a sex slave), many Yazidi girls are still in captivity. Their situation has been made worse by the recent news that ISIS has banned the selling of sex slaves back to their families. For those who manage to escape, many face a harsh winter living in IDP camps.
For many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Iraq, snow-covered tents will be their home this winter
With this in mind, FRRME has set up the Girls who Survived ISIS Empowerment Project. Our primary focus is to help care for girls who have escaped ISIS and are back with their families. We are providing them with much-needed medical care and winter clothes. Many of the girls we are helping are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The project is in its early stages but with your support we aim to help more girls over a longer period of time.
Distributing winter clothes to the most vulnerable in Erbil
As well as the Yazidi girls, we are also continuing our support for the families who have escaped ISIS. We recently delivered more than 400 mattresses to IDP families living in the Harsham Camp in Erbil. The camp is mixed – Christian and Muslim – and most of the people there have fled Mosul and other cities now under ISIS control.
A young Iraqi woman takes delivery of her new mattress, provided by FRRME
Despite the harsh weather, our relief work in Northern Iraq continues. The people we are helping have nothing but with your support we are making a positive difference. I am truly thankful to all of those who continue to support FRRME each month. Without your support our work would not be possible.
Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME's Director of Operations in Iraq, works to bring vital aid to internally displaced Iraqi children
Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in Iraq
Thank you and God bless,
Dr Sarah Ahmed
Director of Operations in Iraq
The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East

Weekly Media Summary 14 January 2016

January

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 an article about Prince Charles donating to persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians; an appeal from Catholic Bishops urging more peace efforts to help displaced Iraqi Christians; news of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza; and two interviews with Canon Andrew White (one in The Big Issue and one in Inspire):

Iraq

Christian Today: Prince Charles donates to persecuted Christians after meeting Iraqi and Syrian refugees

Independent: Plight of Iraqi Christians: Bishops highlight harsh situation of refugees from Isis persecuted for their faith

Jordan

Catholic News Service: Bishops urge more peace efforts to help displaced Iraqi Christians

CNN: King of Jordan says ISIS could be defeated ‘fairly quickly’ 

Israel / Palestine

Fox News: Israel targets Palestinian militants in rare Gaza airstrike

The Guardian: Israel says Swedish foreign minister is ‘not welcome’ in country

Canon Andrew White in the media

The Big Issue: Vicar of Baghdad: Praying for Survival

Inspire: Risking All: Canon Andrew White

A New Year’s update from Canon Andrew White

January

Dear Friends,
I have not long returned from Erbil in Northern Iraq. For the first time I was able to see the real, life-changing work of Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in Iraq. I thought I had seen problems and difficulties in Iraq but I have never seen anything like I what I encountered on my last visit to Erbil.
The Internally Displaced People (IDP) living in camps in Erbil, many of them Christian, have nothing. They have no proper homes. Those who are considered “fortunate” live in disused military trailers, or tents provided by the UNHCR. Food is in short supply and is given out by international NGOs, including FRRME. It is truly a desperate situation.
To help the IDPs in our care, you can make a donation via the FRRME website by clicking here. For those familiar with Just Giving, you can also donate to The Emergency Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking on the image below.
This past week I have been in Jordan where I was lucky enough to meet with my dear friend, Sheikh Abdul Latif.

Sheikh Abdul Latif is the President of the Sunni Endowment organisation in Iraq, which has been instrumental in building relationships between Islamic and non-Islamic countries, as well as rapprochement between Islamic sects and creeds. To build on FRRME’s internationally recognised reconciliation work, it is vital that we maintain good working relationships with important religious figures such as Sheikh Abdul Latif.

I am also delighted to announce the newest member of FRRME’s Advisory Board, Andrew Stone, Baron of Blackheath. As a member of the House of Lords, Andrew has been very involved in the Third Sector and has a particular interest in conflict resolution. Before being made a peer in 1999, Andrew was the Managing Director of Marks and Spencer.

Weekly Media Summary 7 January 2016

January

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 worsening plight of Christians in Iraq; the escalating refugee crisis in Jordan; Israeli / Palestinian relations; and an American Center for Law and Justice interview with Canon Andrew White.

Iraq

Christian Post: ISIS Burns Christians Alive in Locked Caskets, Escaped Prisoner Revels

Rudaw: The Death Knell of Iraq’s Christian Community

Jordan

BBC News: Syria Conflict: Thousands of refugees stranded at Jordan border

Petra News Agency: Jordanian-Saudi Committee starts meetings in Amman

Israel / Palestine

New York Post: Palestinian women attack Israel in unprecedented numbers

Daily Mail: Palestinians ponder succession after 11 years of Abbas

Canon Andrew White in the media

American Center for Law and Justice: Canon Andrew White Discusses Christian Persecution

Canon Andrew White on God TV this Christmas

December

A special programme featuring Canon Andrew White, ‘The Vicar of Baghdad’, will be shown on God TV this Christmas. The programme was filmed at The Sea of Galilee as part of the God TV Israel Tour with Canon Andrew White. To watch a preview, please click on the image below.

The full programme will air on the following days / times:

Thursday 24th December (Christmas Eve) at 9.30pm 

Friday 25th December (Christmas Day) at 9.00am 

God TV screen grab

 

A Christmas appeal from Canon Andrew White

December

To my dear friends and supporters,
As we approach Christmas, I bring you blessings from the Middle East. Since my departure from Baghdad last year, I have found a new home in Jordan. Many of our Iraqi Christian brothers and sisters are here with me. They cannot return to Iraq for fear of religious persecution, such is the nature of the conflict there. Given the mass exodus this year of Iraqi Christians from their ancestral home, it is not an exaggeration to say that we are witnessing the decline of Christianity in Iraq, possibly even its extinction. The King’s School of Media in Jerusalem has made a powerful film about the plight of the Iraqi Christians in our care. Click on the image below to watch the film.
Click on the image above to watch ‘Victory in Christ’
The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) continues to work on the front line. Dr Sarah Ahmed, our brilliant Director of Operations in Iraq, is heading our relief operation in the north of the country, providing food, medicine and shelter for thousands of internally displaced people. She is truly doing the Lord’s work and I pray for her safety every day. With an escalation of the war against Islamic State looming, there will likely be thousands more internally displaced people in need of help.
Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME's Director of Operations in Iraq, works to bring vital aid to internally displaced Iraqi children
Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in Iraq, oversees the provision of aid in the north of the country
Our work continues in Jordan too. Thanks to our team on the ground in Marka, the Iraqi refugees there are being well looked after. We are running a weekly food voucher programme and a free health clinic. We have also set up a school so that the children can continue their educations. We have also partnered with an NGO based in the north of the country which works with Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan.
Iraqi refugee children at school in Marka, Jordan
This year we also set up the Jerusalem International School of Reconciliation, or ‘JISR’ (meaning ‘Bridge’ in Arabic). The school is the first of its kind in the Middle East and will help introduce a new generation to the methods of reconciliation. We were lucky enough this year to have some very special guest speakers, including Sheikh Imad Falouji, a former founding member of Hamas, and Daniel Taub, the former Israeli Ambassador to the UK.
Canon Andrew White with former Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub (left), talking to an audience of international students about reconciliation
We have done amazing work this year but it would not be possible without your support. As I often say, we must pray for peace but we must also pay for peace. The camps of Kurdistan are no place for a child and the Iraqi refugees in Jordan are not permitted to work, so find themselves in a state of limbo. The situation in Israel / Palestine is getting worse every day and many have given up on finding a peaceful solution. That being said, with your support we will not give up. We will continue to do the Lord’s work and help those who need our help.
If you would like to support the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East please visit our donate page (which you can do by clicking on the image below). There you will be able to set up a regular standing order or make a single donation.
For those of you familiar with Just Giving, you can also make a donation to The Emergency Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking on the image below.
Thank you, Happy Christmas, and God Bless,
Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White
President
The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East

Weekly Media Summary 17 December 2015

December

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 plight of Christians in Iraq; Christianity in Jordan; tensions in Israel / Palestine; and Canon Andrew White in the media:

Iraq

Premier: Prince Charles meets Iraqi and Syrian Christians

ABC News: Young Iraqi Christian Refugee Forgives ISIS for Displacing Family, Hopes for a Future Without Wars

Jordan

Reuters: Christmas tree lit up at holy Christian site in Jordan

National Catholic Register: What Makes Jordan an Oasis for Arab Christians

Israel / Palestine

The Washington Post: How some evangelicals are challenging a decades-long stance of blanket support for Israel’s government

The New York Times: Jerusalem Attacks Subside, but Not Palestinian Ire, as Israel Clamps Down

Canon Andrew White in the media

Crux: Iraq: Sanctuary to killing field

Weekly Media Summary 10 December 2015

December

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 plight of Christians in Iraq; the growing refugee crisis in Jordan; the Israel / Palestine peace process; and Canon Andrew White in the media:

Iraq

Christian Today: Christians shelter from ISIS in ancient monastery near Mosul

The Washington Post: Open the door for persecuted Iraqi Christians

Jordan

The Guardian: First Syrian refugees from camps in Jordan and Lebanon to arrive in Canada

The Telegraph: Thousands of Syrian refugees stranded along Jordanian border, says UN

Israel / Palestine

The Economic Times: US President Barack Obama calls for efforts towards Israel Palestine peace process

The Washington Post: Clinton: ‘Peace is possible’ for Israel, Palestine

Canon Andrew White in the media

The Layman: Canon Andrew White Speaks at IRD

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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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