01/09/2015, 00.00
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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."

Erbil (AsiaNews) - "We hope to return to Karamles, to return to our homes, take back our lives"; although many have chosen to flee persecution, "we cannot leave, we can not abandon Iraq: our roots are here." This is what Rami Sadik (pictured) said to AsiaNews. He is a young Christian student originally from Karamles, one of the cities that with Mosul has fallen into the hands of the militia of the Islamic State. A student of the Faculty of Sport Sciences, today he is among those who live in the refugee camp, "The eyes of Erbil" (Ayun Erbil), in the Christian neighborhood of Ankawa, in the northern Kurdish capital.

Last summer Rami, 22, along with family and friends abandoned hastily their homes to escape the Islamist group that has conquered parts of Iraq and Syria. He has not lost hope of being able to return to his homeland, because he is convinced that only thanks to the Christian minority in Iraq will have a future of peace and coexistence. Meanwhile, in the reception center, he promotes moments of play and education to the children of the refugees.

Here, below, the interview with AsiaNews:

Rami, how would you judge the current situation and what future do you imagine for your community?
I hope that our area will be freed from the presence of the militia of the Islamic state and made secure by the Peshmerga, so that we can return to our homes. Our roots are here, in Iraq. We really hope to return to Karamles, because we have no intention to leave the country. To return to our homes, to resume our lives ... this is the best solution for all of us!

There remain unresolved problems that cast a shadow on the future, starting from school and work.
Yes, here in Kurdistan we still face many difficulties, such as not being able to continue our studies, to attend classes. The courses are different than ours, the language is different, and this is certainly not a good prospect. This is also one of the reasons why we really hope to be able to return to our land. We do not want to remain here!

How many people think like you?
I know several people - some very closely - that have left. Many have wanted to leave Iraq, because they failed to catch a glimpse of a future, a reasonable solution that spurs them to turn back. They have preferred to leave. Among these are also my friends who left for Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, expecting to find relief from their suffering.

Iraq seems destined to empty itself and the Christian population to disappear.
This is the point: day after day people can't take it anymore to support this situation. They do not want to remain in the midst of this suffering and so decide to leave. Every day that passes we lose a friend, a relative who is leaving. This phenomenon, this exodus concerns especially the Christians of Iraq. Our people are becoming every day more discouraged.

The return to Karamles would instead be a source of hope?
Exactly, that is what is best for us! All families of this center are hoping to return home, to Karamles, because that is where we have our roots, there is our life, our future. We cannot leave, we cannot abandon Iraq. (BC-DS)


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See also
The Kurdish dream of being able to live Christians and Muslims together
School and work: the problems of the young refugees of Mosul
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