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Archive for June, 2009

Moment of Scream

Moment of Scream

Written By: Fa Me

when anyone looks at the picture posted above, there are dozens of question come to the mind, and why exactly those people gathered? and what are they calling for! there is a great expression in this picture, while we see some looking to the ground. others have lifted their head up looking and screaming, and others are standing there confused don’t know what to do and looking around trying to find answers for the many questions asked – who? and why?

this picture was taken yesterday when 3 Christians killed in a car explosion in a Christian town (Al-Hamdaniya) and also known as Qaraqoush 32 Km south-west of Mosul City. and in this picture we see families, friends, and relatives of the victims having the last moment with their beloved ones on this Earth, because after a while they are going to say good-bye and bury them in the land of Iraq, in the land of Two Rivers. because these things don’t happen anywhere else execpt in Iraq.

The people who scream in this picture are looking at everyone of us, asking and yelling and saying why do we lose or family members, and why do we have to endoure this pain! those few who look into the ground are not so many, they symbolize those who want to stick to this earth, and never leave it. but they seem scared and not sure of the future. as for those who are silent and confused they are wondering who is behind this! and could it be me the next time?!

This is the reality of Iraqi Christians, their politicians failed to unite them, their protectors are ignoring them, and the world is doing nothing! still this picture is the best example of the injustice done to Iraqi Christians!

below the rest of the Funeral pictures and the detonated car.

Detonated Car

Detonated Car

inside the church

inside the church

Mourning the Beloved ones

Mourning the Beloved ones

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SandStorm in Baghdad

SandStorm in Baghdad

By: FA ME

A heavy sandstorm has blanketed Iraq’s capital, closing the Baghdad airport and delaying the country’s first oil bidding process in 30 years.

Visibility is only a few yards and most of the few people on the streets are wearing surgical masks. Doctors at the city’s hospitals said Sunday that people were coming in complaining about shortness of breath and other problems.

Iraq had planned to award eight oil and gas fields to international oil companies for long-term development on Monday and Tuesday. But the airport closure prevented company representatives from landing in Baghdad.

Sandstorms are a regular occurrence in Baghdad although it is shielded from the desert by a thin strip of arable land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

New burdens and new complications ahead of Iraqi people, including sandstorms!!

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Taza Site of Explosion

Taza Site of Explosion

By: FA ME

The Christian community expresses its condolences and solidarity to Muslims for the tragedy that June 20 last that struck the Shiite mosque of Taza, a town 20 km from Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. A delegation led by Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, visited the scene of the massacre to meet the families of the victims and the civilian population. The bishop also met with the heads of local government and the Muslim religious authorities, who have “appreciated” the gesture of solidarity. ”   On June 20th a truck bomb exploded at the market of Taza, near the local Shia mosque of al Rasoul (the prophet), killing 74 people and wounding about 200, more than 50 houses destroyed in the blaze. The attack took place at the end of the prayer, while the faithful were leaving the place of worship. Local sources speak of a tragedy that has so far “not been claimed by any group”, but which has registered the bloodiest death toll in the country over the last year.   “In Iraq the situation is still unstable” comments Mgr. Louis Sako to AsiaNews,. The archbishop of Kirkuk confirms that there are still many cases of “abductions, assassinations and explosions.” “The population is afraid,” added the prelate, and the withdrawal of American troops is causing more “concern” because the situation could precipitate. Local authorities and Muslim religious leaders have “appreciated” the gesture of the Christian community, which emphasizes its “closeness” and “solidarity” to the victims of the massacre.

 

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House of Commons

House of Commons

Lobby For The Minorities of Iraq-Report of meeting
in UK Parliament

eilian@nantperis.wanadoo.co.uk

The human tragedy which has followed the Iraq war was described in painful personal terms by members of the Iraqi Christian community on monday evening, 22nd July in Committee Room 16 of the House of Commons.
Several members described the suffering of their families in the years following the invasion, as Christans were victimised and singled-out by terrorists , particularly in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul.. Many of those present had familly members whose situation was still not regularised., who were not allowed to work and who had to be sustained. The cruelly slow process of Assylum was illustrated by the circumstances of many.
Still worse were the stories of familly separation as a consequence of the war. Some European countries were initially very welcoming to Iraqi Christian and other Iraqi refugees eg the Nordic Countries and France. Britain however, despite bearing the major part of responsibility for the war and its consequences, has maintained a cruel closed door policy, with only a trickle of Iraqi Christians succeeding to enter the country.
The speakers reminded Britain of its responsibilities. One speaker reminded the parliamentarians present of Britain’s special responsibility to the Christians and Mandaeans of Basra. who have had to flee, under the watch of the British armed forces.
Mr Saad Tokatly collected details of dozens of individual cases. The meeting was presided over by Lord Hylton.
Mr. Mohammed Haj Ibrahim, Head of Political Section, represented H.E. Dr. Sami Khiyami, Ambassador of Syria at the meeting
Ms Maggie Murphy represented the UNPO from the Hague (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation) and she mentioned the UNPO mission to monitor the Municipal Elections in Nineveh province recently.Therir report raised some concerns.
In attendance was Fr Tony of the Assyrian Church of the East and Mr David Drew MP, a long-tim,e supporter of the cause of Iraqi Minorities.Mr Joe Benton MP had also offered his support.
It is hoped that a delegation will be able to meet the Minister for Immigration as well as to give evidence in the official Iraq War enquiry.

Below is the speech by Mr Saad Tokatly, who represented all the Iraqi Christian churches

On behalf of all our Eastern Churches in the UK, it is my pleasure to present and taking before you. As we all know, Iraq Christians have been suffering and feeling the pain from the unfortunate situations that is still existing in Iraq.

Human tragedy in Iraq is real where homes were torn apart, and citizens were divided through different wars without any justifications and the worsening of the situation is after the fall of the previous regime: bombings, kidnapping, killings, threats,loss of jobs and displacement. That is what it is happing today to the Iraqi Christians, is totally in a disaster. There are more than half a million Christian refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and those who are stranded in other parts of the world. Some are truly threatened; others should be helped to return to secure cities. Iraqi Christians wish to have all rights articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We kindly ask the western countries, particularly Britian, at least temporarily, to welcome Iraqi Christians and other ethnic people, who have left their countries. Also, Westerns countries must apply political pressure on the government of Baghdad to tend and respect Christians and other minorities. Also, Iraqi Government must aid Christians to uphold their religions right, practices, to have freedom of thought and conscience.

We ask the members of the Parliament, the House of Lords, the peace-loving governments, human Rights organizations and individuals to help the Christians of Iraq.. We extend our great gratitude and appreciation to you, to all who believe in peace, justice and love.

Part of evidence by M Tokatly:

“I believe that there should be a change of policy by the British Government to protect the Iraqi Christians and open the doors for them to settle in this hospitable country…. . They will be an asset to this country. This country has accepted people in the past that turn out to be terrorists or convert later into terrorists. Iraqi Christians are completely different class of people and very law abiding, friendly and peaceful and hard working.

Countries that had nothing or very little to do with the occupation of Iraq, have accepted hundreds of thousands of the Iraqi refugees. I think it is a disgrace not to admit responsibility towards these helpless refugees. It was not the refugees decision to invade and occupy their country. It was the British and the American governments that brought about all the miseries to these people.

It is about time to act in an honourable way to help resettle the Iraqi Christians in this country. All this talk about talking to the Iraqi government to protect Christians proved to be fruitless. It is a country with so many powers, so much arms with so many militias who became very rich and powerful and every one of them can take the law into their own hands.”

Part of evidence by Z Tokatly

“We heard of various sad cases but there are so many, literally hundreds or thousands of such terrible personal tragedies.

Yes there were lots of Injustices during the rule of Saddam Hussien but there was security “……… “Then came the invasion and everything was changed, for the worst, the very worst! Mass murders, kidnapping of the innocent, sectarian violence etc became the “new norm” of everyday living in Iraq. The Country is destroyed and its people devastated. Mass exodus resulted to escape the terror of the Time. “War on Terror” has created a new era of terror for the people of Iraq.

The whole being was changed and who is responsible for this, yes it is the occupiers of the Land. The idea of the meeting at the House of commons was to say to the British Government …”You are the people who inflicted this unbelievable suffering on the Iraqi people, you must accept responsibility for your actions and do something about it”…It is about time!”

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Dominican Sister Maria Hanna of Mosul, Iraq, speaks at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' headquarters in Washington June 22.

Dominican Sister Maria Hanna of Mosul, Iraq, speaks at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' headquarters in Washington June 22.

By Carmen Blanco – Catholic News Service

Despite growing numbers of Iraqi Christians fleeing their country to escape the violence and persecution, an Iraqi Dominican nun says she will remain in her country.
Dominican Sister Maria Hanna of Mosul, Iraq, speaks at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ headquarters in Washington June 22. – CNS photo/Bob Roller “I am committed to staying in Iraq for those who remain: the poor, the vulnerable, the widows and their children,” Sister Maria Hanna said in a meeting at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sister Hanna, a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in Mosul, Iraq, visited Washington in June to talk about her work and to give Catholic agencies and organizations an update on current conditions in the country. She has set goals to build schools and hospitals for those remaining in Iraq and to give hope to all Iraqis.

“Our services are not just for Christians,” Sister Hanna said. “Our hospital offers care to Christians and Muslims. And the students in our schools are mostly Muslims.”
In 1992, the sisters opened the Al-Hayat maternity hospital, which offers a 24-hour emergency clinic. They hope to add a surgical hospital and a general hospital in northern Iraq, she said.

For Sister Hanna, messages of peace and solidarity are communicated to Iraqis through schools and hospitals that provide patients from all religious and ethnic groups with spiritual, emotional and physical healing.

“Reconciliation is an important part of health care,” she said.

The nuns also hope to build a new church that will serve the 40,000-45,000 people from the city of Karakosh and its surrounding villages, she said. The intent is that it will serve other faith and minority ethnic groups.

The sisters hope to join forces with other religious orders to inform the public about conflict resolution.

“We want Iraqis to come, meet and reconcile,” Sister Hanna told Catholic News Service.

Christians have been the target of kidnappings and violent attacks that have escalated since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Since then, the sisters have had to evacuate two of their living spaces. One in particular was the target of several attacks, prompting some of the nuns to move to safer locations.

“We are more concerned about the mission than the convents,” Sister Hanna said.

This year, the Dominican Sisters renovated and opened a private secondary school for girls in Baghdad. The school, founded in the 1960s, was appropriated by the government in the 1970s and given back in 2007.

“Opening this school poses a threat to our safety,” she said, referring to the area’s dangerous and unstable conditions, “but it is a sign of hope for women and neighboring families.”

Sister Hanna expressed deep concern for the well-being of the children. Currently, Iraq has only two orphanages for its growing number of orphans.

For children who know far too much of war and civil unrest, the sisters hope to begin the first Montessori school in Iraq. Dominican Sister Amman, a translator for Sister Hanna, told CNS that the Montessori method appealed to them because of the ways it nurtures the mind, body and spirit of the child.

“We need your prayers,” Sister Hanna said. “And we would like your support for our mission.”

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Latin Rite Church in Mosul

Latin Rite Church in Mosul

 By: FA ME

A number of families living in a building belongs to the Latin Rite church located in Al-Saa quarter of Mosul city expressed their fears from targeting the building by explosion because it is used by local police as guarding point. Several families expressed that fears and they said a police force asked to take the roof of the building as guarding point because its control Al-Saa quarter and to stop some practices on these forces.

   The five Christian families living in the building, which most of them are there for more than 20 years, confirmed that they are peaceful people and they don’t want these forces to have position near to them because they are exposed to harassments. One of the most obvious, as the electricity became worse in summer season they can not use the roof of the building for sleeping during the night and that forced them to sleep in their apartments.  These families were so much annoyed because the police do not asked for permission but they did break the door of the building and localized on the roof.

  One of the occupiers of the building said that few families decided to leave the building as a result of these practices which entered its fifth months without any movements from the priests or clerics to stop it.

  The same person, which preferred not to mention his name, added that he asked the person responsible for Latin Rite Church to explain the problem to the authority and nothing happened since two months, especially after when things became worst and when the building exposed to an explosion caused by a blowing bomb located near by on Sunday evening, the 21st of June 2009.

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Pope Bendict XVI

Pope Bendict XVI

Source: Catholic Culture

Pope Benedict XVI formally welcomed Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan at an audience on June 19. In his remarks to the visiting Patriarch– who was in Rome for the first time since his election as leader of the world’s Syrian Catholics– the Pope remarked that “the Eucharist fuses our different traditions in the unity of the one Spirit.”

During the audience the Pope disclosed that he prays every day for peace in the Middle East, “especially for Christians living in the blessed land of Iraq, whose sufferings I offer every day to God during the Eucharistic sacrifice.”

The Pope had met briefly with the Syrian Catholic leader after his weekly audience on Wednesday, June 18. Patriarch Ignace had then celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Syriac-Antiochan rite at the basilica of St. Mary Major, with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, attending as the Pope’s representative.

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