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Archive for September, 2009

National Guards Protecting a Church

National Guards Protecting a Church

 

By: FA ME

Two police members in charged of protecting St. Paul’s Church in Mosul were killed yesterday 29th of September when an unidentified gunmen opened fire targeting them. Witnesses at the location said “an intensive fire shooting was heard before we knew the two policemen were killed”.

This incident followed by taking precautionary procedures and blocking all the roads that lead to the Church. The Church of St. Paul had witnessed many attacks; the most recent one was in January last year when a car bomb was detonated near the Church’s outside fence. The presence of Iraqi security forces was strengthen near Christian Churches in Mosul city with conjunction to the campaign that targeted Christians last fall.

 

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Cross on the Top of Roof in Mosul

Cross on the Top of Roof in Mosul

Written By: FA ME

 Despite the deteriorated security situation that is lived by Christians in Mosul, yet they are far from forgetting their traditions and norms, especially the church related traditions that had been preserved since hundred of years.

 One of the biggest and most famous church holidays in Mosul and around the world is the holiday of “Cross”. It’s celebrated and attributed to Queen Helena who is believed to be the person who found the real Cross of Jesus Christ. Her followers invented a way to deliver this good news to other Christians to know about his important event by illuminating the tops of mountains by fire. This was a sign of finding the cross.

 Today Christians in Mosul have revived these traditions in a very cautious way; they attended the Churches, and prayed their prayers. But some of them dared to illuminate the cross on the tops of houses roofs. A fearless step grows in the middle of horror and vast migration of indigenous Iraqi people. At a time where Muslims are celebrating Ramadan, the holy month!

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Houstin, Texas has become a major landing spot for Iraqi refugee settlers.
Houstin, Texas has become a major landing spot for Iraqi refugee settlers.

 

By: FA ME

Iraqi translator in coma after move to US

September 03 2009 by Rebekah Nahai

 Texas settler on US visa is in coma

 

 A young Iraqi refugee who moved to the US to escape persecution is in critical condition after being involved in car accident in Houstin, Texas.

 Marwan Hamza, 22, was granted a US visa after receiving death threats for translating for US troops in Iraq. The accident Wednesday night left him in a coma due to traumatic brain injury.

 Following the accident, Hamza suffered kidney failure, facial fractures, and an infection which required doctors to amputate his left arm above the below to stop the damage from spreading.

 Hamza’s mother is petitioning for a US visa at the US embassy in Baghdad in order to care for her son in Texas. His parents still live in Iraq with their three younger children, aged 20, 12 and 10.

 In an earlier interview, Hamza said about his family’s decision to stay behind: “Starting over is hard when you’re 40 or 50 years old.”

 Hamza found work in Houston almost immediately after receiving a social security card, which allows residents to work legally and pay taxes. He worked at a restaurant until finding a better job as a security guard. Friends say his English is almost perfect.

 The translator fled to Ankara, Turkey after receiving death threats in Iraq for helping the US military. Continued persecution led him to make an application for asylum in the US, and he moved to Houston with support from the US military and a major refugee organisation.

The Texas city has become a major landing spot for Iraqi refugee settlers.

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Deforming Christian Signs

Deforming Christian Signs

 

By: FA ME

QARAQOSH, Iraq — In a country thoroughly shattered; there is a particular hopelessness here in the Christian towns.

 When you arrive in a Sunni area, you’re struck by both a pervasive fear of the Shiite-led government and a fierce sense of pride, a conviction that things ran more efficiently when the Sunnis were in charge (and, implicitly, that things will again when they someday return to power). In the most impoverished and dilapidated Shiite neighborhoods, districts like Sadr City where garbage runs in rivers in the streets, an awareness of newfound power runs strong. They know it’s their time.

 But up north, in the small Christian villages that dot the flat plains that run from Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, into the mountains of Kurdistan, optimism is almost nowhere to be found. The residents seem tired; looking into their empty, often unhealthy faces, you wonder whether the massive exodus of Christians from Iraq–half the population by many estimates–has left only the weakest and least capable behind to look after their homeland.

 The Christians here do speak with some pride of their historical claims in Iraq: they were here long before the Islamic invasion, and speak a language, Assyrian, that hearkens to an expansive militaristic kingdom that once left all would-be foes in a state of cold fear. The northern province of Nineveh, where the Christians live, is the Biblical land where Jonah was once sent by God to bring righteousness to a wicked city, after his rebellious sojourn in a whale. That, however, was some time ago.

 Now the Nineveh plain is a tense stretch on the faultline that lies between Arabs and Kurds, and seems always on the brink of conflict (the tiredness of the descriptions– “powder keg,” “tinderbox,” etc–has become a sort of dark-humored joke among officials and journalists).

 Kurdish security forces have been a presence here since they were brought in by the Americans in 2003, even though the Nineveh plain lies on the Arab side of the boundary dividing the 15 Iraqi provinces administered by Baghdad from the three provinces that form the semiautonomous Kurdish region. Americans worried about the alliance form the very beginning and their worries have been justified: the Kurds now claim the lands as their own and are refusing to allow administration from the provincial government.

 While there have been attacks by Sunni Arab insurgents in the region, the presence of the Kurdish forces have largely kept the violence of Mosul from spreading into the plain. But the security comes at an explicit price, say the Christians. They are expected to support annexation of their areas to Kurdistan.

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