Weekly Media Summary 20 January 2017

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 features news about the plight of Christians in Northern Iraq and the celebration of the Epiphany feast on the River Jordan.

Iraq

Al Monitor: Iraqi Christians eager to rebuild their lives post-IS

Christian Today: Iraq Church Used As Shooting Range By ISIS Jihadis

Jordan

Al-Arabiya: Epiphany: The feast celebrated by Eastern Christians

Military.com: Jordan Boosts Border Forces amid ISIS Threat from Iraq, Syria

…read more

Harrowing testimony from Iraq

According to a UN statement issued this week, the battle for Mosul has made 148,000 people homeless, with 12,500 people forced to flee their homes in the past week alone. The statement also says that the fighting continues to inflict high civilian casualties, with more than 1,500 wounded taken to hospitals in Erbil. While the fighting intensifies, we continue to work alongside the UN providing emergency food relief to thousands of people in dire need.

An IDP camp in Iraqi Kurdistan where night-time temperatures drop to below freezing

Speaking about the worsening situation in Northern Iraq, last Sunday Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, and Alex Wentworth, Communications Officer, gave a talk at St Peter’s Brockley in South London.

They spoke about the people of Northern Iraq, Christian and Muslim, and the terrible suffering they have endured at the hands of ISIS. The people we are helping there have lost everything, in some cases even the shoes on their …read more

Weekly Media Summary 13 January 2017

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 features news about the ongoing battle for Mosul; a new aid package for Jordan to help with the refugee crisis; and an article in Christian Today about our work in Iraq:

Iraq

Iraqi News: Iraqi forces storm more districts in Mosul, chemical counter-attacks feared

Al Jazeera: Iraq’s Abadi calls for Turkish forces’ withdrawal

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Jordan, donors endorse new refugee response plan

Fox News: Jordan dismisses 15 mosque preachers in wake of IS attack

FRRME in the press

Christian Today: Charity Helps Thousands Of Iraqi Christians Going Hungry, Displaced of Bereaved

…read more

Delivering food and education on the front line in Northern Iraq

The battle for Mosul continues. Reuters reports this week that Islamic State is shelling parts of the city it has lost to Iraqi Government forces in a deliberate attempt to kill civilians. Those who make it out of the city alive either walk east to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, or west to Rojava, Syria’s Kurdish region.

Children collecting a food ration

We are operating in Iraqi Kurdistan, providing food to thousands of Christians and other victims of sectarian violence. While IDP camps in the region offer relative safety, there are no schools for the children which is why we set up a girls school in Harsham Camp north of Erbil. We recently delivered new benches to the school, as well as a large consignment of food and bottled water.

Benches being delivered to the girls school in Harsham Camp
Red lentils, rice …read more

Our mission this year is to help the persecuted. Please join us…

Christmas and New Year at St George’s Church in Baghdad

Despite the spectre of violence that hangs over Iraq, the congregation at St George’s Church in Baghdad was able to celebrate Christmas and New Year in relative peace. St George’s remains very much in our prayers and we continue to fully fund the health clinic there. Additionally, the American branch of the Foundation provides monthly funding for food relief.

In his Boxing Day address, Pope Francis paid tribute to Iraq’s persecuted and dwindling Christian community, commenting that “there are more Christian martyrs now than in the Church’s early days.” While this is certainly the case, it was heartening to see the children at St George’s singing in praise of Yeshua and enjoying themselves. Father Christmas even made an appearance!

Helping the persecuted in Northern Iraq

In Northern Iraq we continue to provide for thousands of internally displaced people. Through our …read more

Why help an Iraqi refugee this Christmas?

Imagine for a moment that you are an Iraqi Christian, born in Baghdad on 1st January 2000. What would your life have been like?

Days after your third birthday, you hear Saddam Hussein on the radio telling you to “draw your sword” against America, a country you have never visited. Months later, you shake with fear as bombs rain down on your neighbourhood, flattening the houses around you and killing the people inside.

Months after your fifth birthday, following a general election, you witness Shia militias loyal to the new government executing innocent Sunnis in the street outside your house. Or perhaps it is Sunnis loyal to al-Qaeda that are executing innocent Shia. Either way, both groups hate you for being an “infidel” and you cannot leave your house even to go to school.

Shortly after your sixth birthday, as civil war erupts in the capital, your parents take you to Mosul in the north of the country hoping to find safety. After two years of relative peace, thousands of your fellow Christians flee the city following a wave of murders, abductions and threats. You survive this pogrom through luck, always looking over your shoulder and …read more

Weekly Media Summary 16 December 2016

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 a potential post-ISIS Sunni insurgency in Iraq; criticism by Jordan and Egypt of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who they accuse of fanning extremism in the region; and Israel’s designation of the recent fires as ‘pyro-terror’.

Iraq

Forbes: As Battle For Mosul Rages In Iraq, Observers Warn Of Risk Of ‘ISIS 2.0′

Reuters: Iraqi Christians confront painful memories in town’s clean-up

Jordan

Middle East Monitor: Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors criticise Saudi Arabia and Turkey

CNN: The forbidden art that’s booming in Jordan

Israel / Palestinian Territories

The Washington Post: Israeli leaders said recent fires were ‘pyro-terror.’ But few Arabs have been charged with arson.

Guardian: Trump’s Israel ambassador is pro-settlement bankruptcy lawyer

…read more

We are funding 42 students at the new Catholic University in Erbil

The American arm of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East will be funding 42 students at the new Catholic University in Erbil, Northern Iraq. Below is a short video (in Sorani Kurdish) which gives you some idea of what the university looks like. 42 students represents 100% of the internally displaced people attending the university.

The university is a non-profit institution which is open to students of all faiths, cultures and beliefs. Its educational mission is clear: “Students are challenged to engage directly in the world and learn the habits that will support a life of service to our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community.” It is thanks to you, our supporters, that we are able to support these students.

An update on the humanitarian crisis in Northern Iraq

The campaign to oust Islamic State from Mosul is in its ninth week. Recent new reports assert that Iraqi government forces have retaken a quarter of the city, however thousands of …read more

Weekly Media Summary 9 December 2016

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 battle for Mosul; the plight of Iraqi Christian refugees living in Jordan; and Israel’s retroactive settlement law.

Iraq

BBC News: Iraq Conflict: Air Strikes on IS-held border town ‘kill dozens’

Iraqi News: Iraq’s parliament speaker demands inquiry into deadly Qaim air strikes

Jordan

Christian Daily: Jordan priest provides haven for Christian refugees fleeing ISIS areas

The New Arab: Jordan-Syria border closure forces MSF to shut Zaatari clinic

Israel / Palestinian Territories

The Guardian: UN criticises Israel settlement law that would legalise 4,000 West Bank homes

BBC News: Turkey drops case against Israeli officers in Gaza flotilla killings

…read more

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