Voices of Iraq: From Victim, to Survivor, to Thriver

Peace Building

From September 21st to 23rd, FRRME staff attended an event hosted by The Centre of Global Migration (CGM) entitled “Untold Experiences of Vulnerable Refugees”. Presented as a workshop to discuss the severe consequences of forced migration, the event brought together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to form a much needed international network for up to date discussion of the mainly ignored experiences of minority refugee populations.

Researchers included Fiona from our FRRME Team, who presented the real day to day challenges of the Iraqi Christian refugees we care for in Jordan, through Case Studies such as “Afnan’s Story”. Families have been uprooted from their culture, jobs, schools and homes to an uncertain future, awaiting responses to their asylum applications to live in Australia and Canada, for which paperwork takes months, and sometime years to process. In the meantime, skilled professionals and former business owners are not permitted to obtain work permits, and forced to rely on the generosity of the churches and partner Christian Charities, such as FRRME.

Fellow researchers at the CGM event, hosted by the University of Gothenburg, included representatives of the Mandaean and Yezidi minorities. The latter population are now experiencing their 74th Firman (or atrocity/genocide). In the words of Research Psychologist Dr Jan Ilhan Kizilhan “How can people deal with trauma; with such shame?”

It is dealing with this shame and trauma which FRRME seeks to address amongst the Iraqi Christian Refugees we assist. Whether it is the moment the ‘victim’ or refugee arrives in Jordan with barely any belongings, to processing the horror of losing their former lives, and their adoption into a new community of survivors. This recovery from trauma includes receiving relief assistance and pastoral support, to learning English at the Nazarene and Assembly of God Churches where Helena teaches (FRRME Project Officer), through to attendance at workshops which deal with the effects of domestic violence.

“Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear” George Addair

But more than this, FRRME is committed to the Christian Iraqi minorities thriving. This is through the effects of political lobbying for the return of Christians to Iraq, the practical day to day encouragement of the refugees and IDPs in our care, to future potential training and business opportunities. We are enabling the Voices of Iraq to be heard, made possible by your support.

To read more on this informative conference, click HERE 

 From Victim, to Survivor, to Thriver

An art exhibition and documentary, as well as for the publication by the Centre on Global Migration, University of Goethenburg will follow in 2018. 

Weekly Media Summary 6 October 2017

October

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 retaking of Hawija from IS and a job fair for refugees in Jordan.

Iraq

BBC News: Iraqi forces retake town of Hawija from IS

The Washington Post: Kurdish lawmakers boycott Iraq parliament session in Baghdad

Jordan

Arab News: Job fair offers hope for refugees in Jordan

The Jordan Times: Jordanian labour market suffers from ‘abundant’ foreign workforce – study

Verse of the Day

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4 NIV

In post-ISIS Iraq the challenges are greater than ever

October

This week the Iraqi army retook Hawija, the last major Iraqi town under ISIS control. This followed the news that the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still alive, although his exact whereabouts are unknown. While ISIS appears to be on the way out, the humanitarian disaster it has created continues. Over 3 million people are still displaced, half of which are children, with 11 million people needing humanitarian assistance.

Delivering fresh food to Debaga IDP camp in Makhmour

This week we delivered fresh food to IDP camps in Iraqi Kurdistan, including Debaga (one of the largest IDP camps in Iraq). The occupants are mainly Sunni Muslims, the largest group victimised by ISIS. The camps also play host to Yazidis, Shabaks and Kaka’i, minority groups which were also targetted. In 2016, the US State Department and the EU designated the persecution of these groups (along with Christians) as “genocide”.

FRRME provides relief supplies to people of all religions in Iraq and in so doing we seek to demonstrate Christian love and compassion in action (Galatians 6 Verse 10). 

Last week, we invited our supporters to complete a short survey about our work. 235 people replied and the results were very interesting. 92% of you believe the ‘advancement of the Christian religion’ is a very important objective (we agree). 63% of you believe we should prioritise our support for Christians (which we do), with a third saying we should help all groups equally. In terms of where we should focus our efforts, 89% of you said Iraq, with Jordan in second place and Israel/Palestine important to nearly half of those who took part. A lot of people commented that they could not really say where we should concentrate our work and trusted us to make wise decisions based on our assessment of needs.

Handing out coupons to Iraqi Christian refugees at 
the Greek Catholic Church in Fuheis, Jordan

In Jordan this week we gave out coupons to Iraqi Christian refugees at the Greek Catholic Church in Fuheis. The coupons can be used in four different supermarkets and newly-arrived families can buy all sorts of essential items with them, from food to electric fan heaters, blankets and pillows. While they are safe from persecution, Iraqi refugees are not permitted to work in Jordan, which means they have no means of income. Through our partnership with four churches, we are helping to feed 700 Iraqi refugee families while their asylum applications to western countries are processed.

The generous support of our donors enables us to provide vital supplies of food and other help for Christian refugee families in Jordan. Please consider making a donation today – click on the link below for further details.

Want to promote our mission helping Iraqi Christians and other minorities and enabling reconciliation in the Middle East? Why not become a FRRME Ambassador? The Ambassadors promote our work to others such as in a local church through the use of literature, reports, audio-visual materials and talks given by one of our team. If you’re interested please email alex@frrme.org. To support us, please see the giving options below.

Make 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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 29 September 2017

September

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 an article in The Church Times about the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum (in which our new CEO Mike Simpson is quoted). Other stories about this seismic event are also included.

Iraq

The Church Times: Kurdish Anglican priest backs independence referendum result

The Guardian: More than 92% of voters in Iraqi Kurdistan back independence

Al Jazeera: Haider al-Abadi vows to use law to control Kurds

Jordan

Haaretz: Flydubai, Royal Jordanian Halt Flights to Northern Iraq After Kurdish Vote

Relief Web: Jordan to open its schools to Syrian refugee children who don’t have official IDs

Verse of the Day

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:20-21 NIV

A harrowing testimony from Iraq

September

I recently met with Karina and her four beautiful children. They are originally from Qaraqosh (Iraq’s largest Christian town). I’ve met with her several times before but this time, over qahwah and sweets, she shared her harrowing testimony. She gave me permission to share this with you.

When ISIS came to Qaraqosh, Karina was heavily pregnant. She thought they would be slaughtered for being Christian (as others were) but by God’s grace she, her husband and their children escaped to an IDP camp in Erbil. They lived in a cramped unit with eight other families for three tumultuous years, surviving sub-zero temperatures in winter and 50 degree heat in summer.

It should be borne in mind that IDP camps are not always safe places. The camp Karina and her family ended up in offered Tae Kwon Do classes for the children (to give them something to do). Her son, who was 9 years old at the time, loved going to the class. However, the instructor brutally molested him. The family did not find out until he refused to go to class again. To this day, he has terrible nightmares and still suffers physical pain.

At the end of what they could endure, the family borrowed money and flew to Jordan. Living conditions in Jordan are much better (they live in a tiny apartment) but they still face enormous struggles. Karina’s husband toils as a handyman 7 days a week, for which he is paid a meager $10 a day. It is not enough to feed the family.

We are feeding Karina and her family every month. We give them vouchers which they can spend in the local supermarket. Without this, they would starve. Despite the hardship, their faith in Jesus and the kindness of fellow Christians sustains them. They are so very grateful for your support.

We are assisting 700 Iraqi Christian families in Jordan. Please support our mission with a donation – see giving options below. 

Helena Scott

Project Officer in Jordan

Make 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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team

Can you spare two minutes?
 
If you can (and you haven’t already done so) please complete our very short survey. We would love to have your input!

October 2017 Prayer Diary

Please click Prayer diary October 2017 to see this month’s bulletin

Please click HERE for information on the families we are caring for.

If you would like to receive regular monthly updates, please contact our office@frrme.org.

You can also follow us on Facebook

With best wishes from the FRRME team

 
Now therefore, while we have time, let us do good to every person, especially to the members of the household of faith.Galatians 6:10. Aramaic Bible ©2013.

Weekly Media Summary 22 September 2017

September

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 return of Mosul’s children to school, and the Jordanian government’s renewed commitment to fighting terror.

Iraq

ABC News: Mosul’s children return to school after ISIS defeat: ‘We are not giving up on learning’

Reuters: Turkey, Iran, Iraq consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Jordan renews commitment to anti-terror drive

The Washington Post: Jordan’s young crown prince makes global debut in UN speech

Verse of the Day

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 NIV

Lobbying politicians on the issue of Iraq’s persecuted Christians  

September

For those Christians who currently remain in Iraq life is tough. Most are internally displaced people (IDPs) who have been forced from their homes and are now living in tents, caravans, basements or sharing crowded accommodation with other families. Those from the villages of the Nineveh Plain may have lost everything when Islamic State advanced. Now that the Iraqi army has pushed back the terrorists, it is hoped that families will be able to return, but often it is to homes that are little more than rubble or otherwise have been stripped of all furnishings and other belongings.

We are lobbying governments at home and abroad to take concerted action to address the tragic circumstances of these people. Last week we were at the House of Lords meeting with Lord Alton and Baroness Nicholson, and then a meeting with the Department for International Development. We are pressing for action to provide relief and reconstruction resources directly to the Christians in northern Iraq and to pressure the Iraqi government to provide the necessary security to ensure that families feel safe enough to return to their homes.

Later this month I will be in Brussels to meet with Lars Adaktusson, a prominent MEP from the Swedish Christian Democrats who was part of the recent conference: ‘A Future for Christians in Iraq’. 60 representatives attended this conference including politicians from Iraqi Christian parties, leading Iraqi church bishops and ministers, members of the Kurdish Regional Government, Yazidis, Turkmen, Ka’kai, and NGOs including FRRME (we were a sponsoring partner), along with representatives from the EPP (the largest political group in the European Parliament) and the US State Department.

Following presentations there was a signing of a joint position paper on reconstruction, the right to return, reconciliation, and security. Lars Adaktusson restated the demands of Iraqi Christians for the right to live in their own homes freely and safely with the opportunity to follow their Christian faith as equal citizens in Iraqi society. When I meet with Lars later this month we hope to schedule a visit to Baghdad to meet with senior political and religious leaders there.

Father Emmanuel’s funeral service in Amman

 

I would also like to share some words of condolence at the passing of Father Emmanuel of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Amman. He was a friend and partner of the foundation whose compassion and beneficence was widely known. With our support, he took in many Iraqi Christian refugees who had nowhere else to go. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people including our Project Officer in Jordan, Helena Scott. For those with access to Facebook, footage from the service can be viewed on the Noursat Jordan page here. Needless to say, with your support we will continue working with our church partners in Jordan.

Mike Simpson
CEO

Please make 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.

Thank you for your support!

Middle East Report interviews our new CEO, Mike Simpson (PART TWO)

September

In this exclusive interview with Middle East Report, FRRME’s new CEO Mike Simpson talks about what we are doing to help Iraq’s displaced Christians – click on the below image to listen to part two of the interview. 

Part one of the interview can be heard here. In the coming weeks and months we will be sharing more stories from the people we are helping in Iraq and Jordan. It is thanks to your continued support that they endure.

Alen

“In Mosul the situation was very bad, especially for the Christians. We were afraid of them and afraid for our lives. It was too dangerous to stay in Iraq.”

Imad

“I was living near Mosul. During the war (2003 invasion), people were being killed according to their identity. I saw my friends in a car near my house get killed.”

 

These radio stations will also feature the interview (click on the logos)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to support our work please make a donation by clicking here.

Thank you!

Weekly Media Summary 15 September 2017

September

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 sacking of the Governor of Kirkuk for opting to take part in the Kurdish independence referendum, and a joint Jordan / Saudi project to revamp the Desert Road.

Iraq

BBC News: Iraq MPs vote to sack Kirkuk governor over Kurdish referendum

Independent: Suicide bomb and gun attacks on Iraqi restaurants and a police checkpoint kill at least 60 people

Jordan

The Jordan Times: PM inaugurates Saudi-funded Desert Road revamping project

The National: Jordan and Russia agree on success of ceasefire in southern Syria

Verse of the Day

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

 

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 38
Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
Get our news, prayer updates and blog posts straight to your inbox Make a 
<a href=Get our news, prayer updates and blog posts straight to your inbox Signup to receive our e-newsletter

Archives