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Archive for November, 2008

Iraqi Christians

Source: (AFP)

BEIRUT – Aid groups are scrambling to deal with an influx of Iraqi Christians who have been pouring into Lebanon to escape a wave of killings back home.

“The number of Christian Iraqis who are coming to us for help has dramatically increased in the last few months,” said Isabelle Saade Feghali of the aid organisation Caritas.

“Every week since June we have had about five families on average arriving here and seeking help,” she said. “The problem is huge and the aid is never enough.”

“I have been helping at least 20 new families a week since the start of October,” said Rania Chehab as she distributed blankets, medicine and other aid this week at a Lebanese Chaldean church on the outskirts of Beirut.

Christians 

The church is one of six venues throughout the country where Caritas has set up a centre to help the refugees.

“We have a lot of families arriving now without the men because they were either killed or kidnapped,” Chehab added. “Some of them escape with only the shirts on their back.”

“Each has a sad story and you can tell that they have lost much.”

Overall there are between 40,000 and 50,000 Iraqi refugees — both Christian and Muslim — living in Lebanon, which is considered a transit country for most as they seek to resettle in other countries, mainly the United States.

A recent report by Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights that sets out the number of deaths in different ethnic communities caused by direct or indirect attacks in Iraq between 2003 and the end of 2007 showed that only 172 fatalities were from Iraq’s Christians.

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hastings1

“preventing interpreters from concealing their identities put their lives, as well as the lives of their families, at grave risk. This heightened threat could also reduce the number of interpreters available in Iraq, due to death and resignations, and put American service members and their mission in danger”.

this was part of message was sent by Representative Alcee Hastings, and Senator Ron Wyden to Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defense, in which they expressed concerns regarding the policy that prohibits Iraqi Interpreters and Translators from wearing masks while they work with US Forces.
the work of Iraqi Translators in Iraq, is a dangerous one, their lives and the lives of their family and friends could depend only on one glimpse of their faces, so many interpreters have risked their lives, entering and leaving American Bases in Iraq, the majority of them had been fallen a prey to terrorists and fanatic groups because they knew them only by recognizing their faces.

other unlucky interpreters have been victims of their clan or tribal laws, which prohibits them from working with US forces, while they desperately want this, because they believe in the democratic vision, and indeed, want to serve their country first, and US Forces secondly.

there are so many people in United States of America are really interested with situation of Iraqi Translators in Iraq and outside Iraq, those people deserve our praise and appreciation for whatever type of support have acted on the Translators’ behalf.

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By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, November 17, 2008; A01

Mask of Translators

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military has barred Iraqi interpreters working with American troops in Baghdad from wearing ski masks to disguise themselves, prompting some to resign and others to bare their faces even though they fear it could get them killed.

Many interpreters employed by the U.S. government and Western companies in Iraq do everything they can to avoid being recognized on the job because extremists have tortured and killed Iraqis accused of collaborating with the enemy.

“The terps are the number one wanted here,” said A.J., a 36-year-old military interpreter, using the shorthand for his profession. “More than the Americans. More than anyone.”

The interpreters have come to symbolize the bravery of Iraqis who have aided the American project in Iraq. About 300 U.S. military interpreters have been killed since 2003, said Kirk W. Johnson, a former official in Iraq with the U.S. Agency for International Development who has fought to make it easier for interpreters and other Iraqis to come to the United States.

details:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/16/AR2008111602040.html?hpid=topnews

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Blood of Martyrs

Blood of Martyrs

Christians of Mosul city attended today 19 Nov. the funeral of the late mother Salma Jarjies who died suffering from her injuries of the last Wednesday attack when insurgents broke into her house and brutally killed her two Daughters, the Christians of Mosul prayed for her soul in St. Paul’s Church, and then took her body to rest in the Christian Cemetery of Mosul city.

her two murdered daughters refused to leave their mother suffering in this life, they called for her, their blood outcries on the earth of Nineveh, the home of Prophet Jonah, and Prophet Nahum, the land of Christian belief Martyrs!

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Violence in Iraq

Did Iraqi Translators escape sectarian violence or a political failure?!

Written by : Fa Me

30 October 2008

There has to be a protocol in life that makes things go smooth and eventually meet the satisfaction of human beings. Every human receives messages in his life, these messages could be seen, read, or heard. It all depends on how we translate these messages according to what we see it right. Problems are already created in our life, and the cause of these problems is the wrong interpretation of such messages, that will end up causing us a bad mood and we sometimes reach the point of disappointment and losing of hope which makes our life not to go easily.

In many situations, we feel this in life, because of others’ decisions, that may affect our life, and the life of those who are around us; the idea is how can we handle such situations that are determined by others in our life? And how could our life possibly change while others are controlling us?

In recent reports from Iraq, Iraqi people are becoming robots in the hands of politicians who still have not given what this poor people really need. they are busy with signing agreements, oil contracts in north as well in south, some have been possessed by political greed and arrogantly using their authorities for their own interests, while others have been controlled by their religious leaders calling on them to come and enroll in the political process but in reality they are wearing masks looking for the right moment to show their real faces, when they will be better arranged, to be founded inside all Iraqi governmental or non-governmental organizations and institutions, those are former ba’thists, new jihadist, or people infiltrated for foreign agendas.

Recently, Iraqi Forces along with American Forces have successfully led operations that aimed to eradicate members of Al-Qaeda from Iraq, when Iraqi tribes have remarkably participated in this, their role was essential, they have been called “Sahawat” which means “New Wake”, and they are now attached to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, in the past, they were getting paid directly from US government. Members of “Sahawat” used to be involved with Al-Qaeda by one way or another, based on what their leaders stated on many interviews with different Arabic TV. Stations, at the beginning Iraqi government hesitated to add them, but was trapped in very hard situation, choosing between excluding them from the political process, while they were affective weapon against Al-Qaeda, or enroll them inside the most sensitive institution in Iraq, where they could be potential danger that threatens the whole political process, in this fragile security of Iraq.

No need to mention that corruption is everywhere in the structure of Iraqi Government, some say that in every democratic society these things happen, when others say democratic societies didn’t include people who are infiltrated inside the government working for foreign agendas trying to revenge Iraqi people, like what we see now in Iraq, since he has bloody history with neighboring countries, like Kuwait and Iran for instance, additionally, Iraqi people have lived immorally, inhumanely, and oppressively in a dark era that lasted for more than thirty years, seeing, feeling, and tasting death at every corner of Iraq.

Another group of Iraqi people who owned their share of suffer and violence in Iraq. Since the fall of Baghdad’s regime, Iraqi Christians have lived severely under the persecution of insurgency, and the government is far away from protecting them, and what happened recently in Mosul city creates horrific picture for the future of Christianity in Iraq, the forceful displacement, and terrorizing Christian families which made them to leave Mosul, an ambiguous incident that leaves the Iraqi government puzzled about who is behind this act! Some blame fanatic groups who refuse any non-Islamic appearances in Iraq, while others go beyond that and blame the Kurds for what happened because they are controlling the majority of Mosul area, and because of their political vision that regards Christians in Iraq to be legal inhabitants of Mosul Plain, in which they can claim their rights and affirm Autonomy in both Iraq and Kurdistan constitution, but yet the truth is still missing.

In Mosul, there was a bizarre story which I heard recently, when a translator with US Forces was strangely killed by a person who claimed that his entire family was lost when a US convoy shot them on the high way near their village, later, Mosul police has arrested this guy and tried to find the motivation behind this murder, the murderer confessed saying: “Americans are out of reach, but since this traitor worked for them, then he must be killed in retaliation for what happened to my family!” I would like to note that this person is one college colleague to the murdered translator.

This story and this incident put many questions on discussion, and how things are going nowadays in Iraq, the category of Translator who worked directly with Coalition Forces in Iraq is the only one that combines people from different sects, religions, educational backgrounds, and cultures, they still share a mutual goal, its working for Americans to facilitate their mission in Iraq, as well as working to improve Iraq’s condition, something which will help withdrawal of US Forces from Iraq. Those translators are becoming the focus point of many outside Iraq, such translators had suffered enough inside and outside Iraq, many complains were addressed to American officials explaining how UNHCR in different countries is dealing with their cases, because they are directly linked to US government, others were chased by gangs or anti-Americans groups, they are receiving bad treatments, and very unpleasant decisions which could possibly ruin their lives.

Many humanitarian societies and organizations wrote reports saying that Iraq is emerging as one of the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world, with an estimated 1.7 million Iraqis displaced from their home and up to 100,000 fleeing to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey some others have been scattered in other nations amid of intensifying violence in Iraq. According to Iraqi government that is doing its best to get those refugees back, there have been big account of Iraqi people to return to their country, because the security situation is at the best since three years when insurgents have blow-up the domes of the two holy Shiite shrines, which was the beginning of bloody struggle and killing between the two denominations Sunni and Shiite in Iraq. UNHCR officials say that those refugees who returned not because of the improvement of security situation, but because they lack any financial resources and running out of their life savings.

The question again, if these people who have escaped the religious or sectarian violence will have the chance to return, what is the possibility for those who helped US forces to return again safely to their houses in Iraq? Many think it’s a “suicide” for them.

The US government has an obligation towards those Iraqis who helped them in Iraq, many American politicians, leaders, and Army staff have admitted that these people need to be protected; the protection has to start from the early point when they escape Iraq, until they reach anywhere in the world in which they feel secured.

Denmark should be set an example for the genuine rescue of their workers, they have made an Air-bridge from Iraq to Copenhagen, where they started to transport hundreds of its workers in Iraq to safety, and they felt that those workers will be in danger once they leave Iraq.

Below are some of the statements of American personalities, and what their opinions are regarding protecting Iraqi Translators, we hope these statements will have space in the work of officials, law-makers, or even agencies who can do their best to facilitate procedures for such people to get to the land of peace, especially Iraqi Translators who suffered enough, and they reached a point where their entire future is depending on critical decisions.

“We should not repeat the tragic and immoral mistake from the Vietnam era and leave friends without a refuge and subject to violent reprisals,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s chairman.

“We have a special obligation to keep faith with the Iraqis who have bravely worked for us — and have often paid a terrible price for it — by providing them with safe refuge in the U.S.,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the committee’s immigration panel.

“Without our translators, we are deaf and dumb,” testified Marine Capt. Zachary J. Iscol. Iscol’s interpreter faced death threats and risked his life at Iscol’s side during a battle in Fallujah but has not gained refuge in the United States!

They risk their lives for us,” said Shelaine Tuytschaevers of Cumming, a sergeant in the Army Reserves who spent 2005 in Iraq. “It’s more than translating. They see things on the streets we don’t see and understand things we can’t begin to comprehend. I can’t tell you how many American lives they’ve saved. We truly have an obligation to them.”

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Michel Aoun

Source (1): Global Research

Source (2): naharnet

Free Patriotic Movement Leader in Lebanon Michel Aoun has called on Monday 20th October 2008 when he returned from his recent visit to Iran, he called for setting up an international tribunal to try those who are targeting Iraqi Christians.

trageting Christians has became the center of many other issues in Iraq. it has been announced that the operations leader in Mosul city is to be substituted by another, according to what Iraqi media stated Thursday 13th November.

 

دعا زعيم التيار الوطني الحر في لبنان ميشيل عون بتأريخ العشرين من اكتوبر الماضي وذلك خلال عودته من زيارة الى ايران ، دعا الى اقامة محكمة دولية لمقاضات المجرمين الذين يقومون بقتل وتصفية المسيحيين في العراق جاء هذا بعد تصاعد وتيرة العنف ضد المسيحيين في العراق والتي ادت الى نزوح الاغلبية العظمى منهم وخاصة في مدينة الموصل

وقد تناولت وكالات الاخبار العراقية الخميس 13 من نوفمبر خبراً عن اقالة قائد عمليات نينوى واستبداله بأخر بعد تعرض مسيحيي مدينة الموصل الى تصفية من قبل جهات غير معروفة مما اثار الكثير من التساؤلات حول من يقف وراء هذه الهجمات؟ 

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Front door

Source: Ishtar Satellite Channel.

Again the hands of criminals dared to terrorize safe families in their own houses, in Mosul city, two sisters were assassinated their mother is wounded when group of terrorists attacked their house in Al-Qahira district as it was reported yesterday 12th of Nov.

The two sisters were living peacefuly in their house, when suddenly evil came to reap their souls, and that wasn’t enough for them, after they did their shameful act, they placed a bomb in the fornt of their house, and when the Police came, it blew on them, and three Policemen were injured.
the Chrisitans of Mosul are living in a hysteric situation, and they don’t know who is behind these actions, and what is the role of local authorities and government from these actions!! the question is why do they target Christians?

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