18 December 2017
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  • » 03/13/2017, 13.24

    IRAQ

    Fr. Samir Youssef: Lent, a special time to support refugees from Mosul (PHOTOS)

    Samir Youssef

    Food, clothes, money, kerosene for heating: These are just some of the many needs. The offensive against the Islamic Republic in recent weeks has generated a new wave of refugees, and needs. The period of preparation for Easter an opportunity "to feel the need of others, and be close to them."

    Erbil (AsiaNews) - Food, clothes, money, kerosene for heating, monetary support to allow families permit their children to study, contributing not only to the school fees, but also to the public transport costs. There are many initiatives promoted by the Church in favor of the Iraqi refugees in Mosul and the Nineveh plain, who fled in the summer of 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and were welcomed in towns and villages of Iraqi Kurdistan. Many of these are run by Catholic associations and organizations, which do not distinguish between Christians, Muslims and Yazidis, all united in need.

    At the head of one of these centers is Fr. Samir Youssef, Iraqi priest who has been on the front since the very beginning of the emergency. He along with others, is the recipient of the donations made through the  AsiaNews campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." But the needs, as the priest says, are many and it is difficult to respond to all the needs. An example? "To distribute food parcels – he writes - for a month to nearly 600 families who do not have any resources or help, we need almost 15 thousand dollars”.

    To aggravate the already difficult situation, the offensive under way in Mosul has created hundreds of thousands of new refugees. "Now that we are in the period of Lent - continues the priest - it's time to feel the needs of others, and be close to them".

    In this period of preparation for Easter, Fr. Samir’s appeal is an urgent request. Donations can be made by following the campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." The photos in this gallery are the visual testimony of how money offered to the campaign is used on the ground.

    Dearest Fr. Bernardo Cervellera,

    Firstly, I pray to the Lord you are all well.

    The photos I sent regarding our distribution of aid to displaced families housed at Enishke, a mountain village between Zakho and Dohuk. This is where Yazidi, Christian and Muslim families were welcomed and have lived since 2014.

    Our parish has been trying to help these families for three years by distributing food parcels, clothes, cash, blankets, kerosene for heating, medicines and many other materials necessities. In addition, we seek to contribute to the education of children by supporting the expenses so that they can attend school.

    In the pictures you see the distribution of kerosene, food, blankets for the Yazidi children living in our village Enishke.

    In order to do all that we can, we count on the contribution of a group of my parish volunteers. We can respond to these basic needs, thanks to the money that is sent to by you and other communities.

    However, we are not always able to access these aid programs. An example: to distribute food parcels for a month to nearly 600 families who do not have any resources or help, and we need almost 15 thousand dollars. We too sometimes encounter difficulty receiving aid or money. This happens, in essence, for two reasons: the first reason is that many organizations are helping families fleeing Mosul because of the offensive underway. And the second reason ... I'll explain it later, because the situation is delicate!

    That said, there is always something that comes to our rescue, there's always a hand from the Lord Who keeps us and never leaves us alone. Thanks to you and to all those who believe in the love of God, who works and works without complicating things. I do not know if we can continue our service to our neighbors who suffer, but what I know and believe is that, tomorrow like today, we will do all in our power to that no one who is experiencing times of trouble are left alone.

    Especially now that we are in the period of Lent, which is the time to feel the needs of others, and be close to them. And to experience the love of God, in the most concrete way.

    My thanks to all of you.

    With a fraternal embrace in Christ.

    Fr. Samir Youssef.

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    See also

    29/05/2017 16:09:00 IRAQ
    Iraqi priest thanks AsiaNews for its solidarity against ISIS destruction (photos)

    Mr Samir talks about the worsening humanitarian emergency. For this reason, the work of helping refugees is important. The Christian world is united against the reality of death of the Islamic state. The love of those who give is source of joy for Mosul refugees. "We are not alone." The appeal to continue supporting the AsiaNews campaign continues.



    23/11/2016 14:42:00 IRAQ
    Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home

    In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.



    23/03/2016 15:01:00 IRAQ
    Easter solidarity: from Mosul refugees to the poorest families

    Don Paul Thabit Mekko, in charge of the refugee camp "Eyes of Erbil" speaks of Holy Week. The community organizes fundraising and money to be donated to the poorest Christian and Muslim families. The desire to revive traditions and songs of native villages, praying to one day return to their homes. The community keeps hope alive.



    04/08/2016 12:14:00 IRAQ
    Louis Sako: Two years on from expulsion of Christians from Mosul and Nineveh

    In a message issued today, the Chaldean Patriarch remembers the tragedy, while rumors of a Daesh defeat and a possible return of families to their homes spread. The call to rebuild the Iraqi nation by rejecting vengeance, the use of religion as a weapon against others; to combat terrorism by stopping the authors, but also those who bank-roll and preach violence. A new social pact for Iraq of coexistence among different races and religions.



    09/01/2015 IRAQ
    Rami, a refugee in Erbil: "We cannot run away, the future of Christians is in Iraq"
    Originally from Karamles, upon the arrival of the Islamic State the young man fled with his family. Now he is a guest at a refugee camp, where he promotes activities for the children. Many, including friends and acquaintances, have emigrated abroad; but "our roots, our life, our future is in Iraq."



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    Fr Samir describes an atmosphere of joy and hope, despite the lack of resources and less aid. The struggle for survival has boosted the bond between Christians, Muslims, and Yazidis. About 150 refugee families are still living at the centre, 70 per cent depending on resources provided by the Church. Hundreds of young people attend the prayer meeting in preparation for Christmas.


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