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Archive for January, 2010

42-year-old Archbishop Amil Shamaaoun

42-year-old Archbishop Amil Shamaaoun

 

By/ FA ME – Source (CNA) Mosul, Iraq, Jan 27, 2010

  The new Archbishop of Mosul, replacing his kidnapped predecessor who died in captivity, says his mission is to give “hope and confidence” to persecuted Iraqi Christians who face bombings, killings and other pressures to leave the city, an ancient center of Christianity. The 42-year-old Archbishop Amil Shamaaoun Nona replaces Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was kidnapped outside his cathedral nearly two years ago and died ten days later. The new archbishop, formerly a priest of the nearby Alqosh diocese, was installed in his cathedral on Jan. 22, about two weeks after his episcopal ordination.

 In a statement to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Archbishop Nona responded to the ongoing killings, abductions and bombings targeted at churches and other Christian centers across Mosul.

 “My new mission is to provide hope and confidence to the Christians in Mosul, making them aware of the presence of a father and a minister beside them in their present plight.”

 Since anti-Christian violence and intimidation surged upward in 2003, he told ACN that the Chaldean-rite Catholic community in Mosul has dwindled by two-thirds and now numbers as few as 5,000 people.

 The decline in numbers may force Christianity in Mosul into obscurity.

 “When all the wealthy people who own businesses, investments and factories leave the city, those who remain will have an effect that is negligible,” the archbishop wrote.

 Christians have fled in response to increasing victimization. They are considered easy targets in clashes between the city’s Kurds and Arabs. There is also growing evidence of Al Qaeda and other extremist activity in the region.

 Archbishop Nona pled that Christians be left in peace and left out of the political struggle in the region.

 “We need to carry our cause as Christians to the influential countries so as to exert pressure on the conflicting political powers in Iraq not to use us to gain some political benefits,” he told ACN. “That is what is happening now.”

 ACN described this comment as an “oblique reference” to the upcoming general elections in March.

 There are reports that attacking Christians is a tactic of radical groups seeking to attract international attention, according to the charity.

 “What is required is an international pressure on the strong and influential parties in Iraq to keep us away from their struggle for power,” Archbishop Nona said.

 He stressed that police protection was in place at every church and priests’ house.

 A surge of anti-Christian violence and killings has happened in Mosul, especially over Christmas.

 Bombs have exploded at several churches, including a blast at the 1,200-year-old St. Thomas’ Church (Mar Toma) on the day before Christmas Eve. Two people were killed and five injured in that attack, ACN reports.

 The Latin-rite Archbishop of Baghdad Jean Sleiman has decried a “media silence” about persecution of the Church in Iraq.

 “Let us break the wall of silence that surrounds the killing of Christians in Mosul and in Iraq,” he told SIR news agency in a recent interview.

 “Christians are killed in Mosul, while the State does nothing. The forces of order serving in the places of the attacks and killings don’t see, don’t hear, don’t speak.”

 Archbishop Nona told ACN that the Church was the only source of hope for many Christians in Mosul.

 “The only thing that the faithful are still adhering to is the Church,” he wrote. “For this reason, the Church, represented in the person of the bishop, has to care for its followers and help them feel secure through its presence in them and among them.”

 Mosul is on the Tigris River and has been linked to the biblical Nineveh. It is seen as the historical heartland of Christianity in Iraq and traditionally has had the largest number of Iraqi Christians.

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Saved By Her Enemy Book Cover
Saved By Her Enemy Book Cover

 By: FA ME

it seems that Iraqi Translators have their voice heared recently in United States. at last, soon we are going to see a new book on the shelves about Iraqi Translators, written by Don Teague who is currently a correspondent for Early Show and CBS Evening News… believing in the services of Iraqi translators as a vital in accomplishing the mission for the United States is something that has to be acknowledged by everybody, they were the source to sustain the troops of their living communication and thorough knowledge of the area in Iraq. 

Don Teague

Don Teague

 
Prior to that, Don Teague served NBC News as a correspondent for NBC News as a correspondent and has covered a wide range of stories, from Hurricanes along the Gulf coast, to wildfires in Southern California, riots across France, and the war in Iraq. Teague won an Emmy Award for his reporting from New Orleans in the chaotic aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

according to the book’s Foreword by Ann Curry, NBC News Anchor and a correspondent: 

 

 

   

Rafraf Wearing a Veil

Rafraf Wearing a Veil

Rafraf, a devout Muslim, had been told that Americans were the enemy. Her understanding of the world, of her place in it, and of the United States had been steeped in the culture of Iraq under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Yet, in the midst of insurgents attempting to kidnap and kill her, she found herself on the receiving end of lifesaving help from those she considered her enemies. Rafraf suddenly finds herself living with a Christian family in the Bible Belt of America. Nothing had prepared her for this new reality—the life of a college student in a vastly foreign culture, in community as far from her expectations as she could have imagined, and in a family that opens their hearts to enfold her. Saved by Her Enemy is a riveting journey of two very different people from opposite sides of the world, of faith, of experience, and of expectations. The dramatic intersection of their lives and their journey together is an inspiration to those who have ever felt there was more to life than the world they knew. A young Iraqi woman, an American war correspondent, and a true tale of friendship, faith, and family against the backdrop of war and the collision of cultures. This is a story of a very unlikely friendship—between American war correspondent Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak, an Iraqi college girl who won a job as a translator for NBC during the early months of violence in the wake of the American invasion of Iraq. While covering a story together, the two were nearly killed by a bomb, an experience that created a bond between them that led them down a path neither could have imagined. What follows is a story of transformation, as Rafraf—from a devout Muslim family—becomes the target of terrorist threats to kidnap and murder her. Don and his fellow correspondents mobilize to help save her life and suddenly Rafraf finds herself on the receiving end of an offer for safety and a new life in the United States. Dramatically transplanted from the streets of Iraq to the Bible Belt of middle America, Rafraf finds everything that she knew—or thought she knew—about herself, her values, her world, even faith and family, turned upside down. Meanwhile, Don; his wife, Kiki; and their children discover they’ve embarked on an adventure with Rafraf that reshapes their lives. This captivating story inspires us all to join Don and Rafraf in discovering that there is far more to life than the world we know.

the book is believed to be issued in March/2010, I hope you enjoy it, and I encourage you to read it because it’s going to be the first of its kind to reveal the dangerous life lived by translators.

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Army Personnel Guarding a Church in Iraq!

Army Personnel Guarding a Church in Iraq!

 

By: FA ME / Source: monstersandcritics.com

Baghdad – Some 1,960 Iraqi Christians have been killed by violence in the country since the US-led invasion in 2003, a local religious group said Saturday. According to the Chaldean Cultural Association for Peace in Iraq, the number of Christians in the Arab state has decreased dramatically, estimating that only a quarter of the 2.1 million who lived there before the war still remain.

 Other estimates have placed the number of Christian residents slightly higher, but also say the figure has at least halved. ‘Christians in Iraq are going through miserable conditions,’ Hawal Ziqiya Masho, with the religious group, was quoted by the Voices of Iraq news agency as saying the day after Christmas.

 Earlier this week, a bombing near two churches in the northern of Mosul killed two people and injured five others, while damaging the buildings. Six people were also injured on Friday in clashes between Iraq’s Christian and Shabak minorities near a church in the northern Iraqi town of Bartala, witnesses said.

 Shabak residents, who are Shiite Muslims, and Christians fought near the town’s church after the Christmas service, following accusations that the Christians had torn down a poster of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Hussein, near the church.

 Security officials intervened to restore order. Mosul and its environs are among the most ethnically and religiously diverse areas in Iraq, and among the most dangerous. Nearly seven years after the US-led invasion of the city, residents of all ethnicities continue to die in near-daily bombings and shootings in and around the city.

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