The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – December, 2016 – Issue 4
In an effort to keep you informed and engaged concerning events on the Nineveh Plain and in the Middle East, the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation brings you a weekly news dispatch, The Weekly Report. Drawn from our blog posts and major stories, The Weekly Report will focus on issues related to the restoration of the Nineveh Plain and the larger issues of peace and stability in the Middle East.
If there is an issue that you would like to know more about, be sure to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. You can subscribe to the Weekly Report by signing up for the newsletter on the Retsore Nineveh Now Foundation home page.
(Above: An Assyrian child with Father Christmas in Qamishli, Syria. Photo credit, Ashur of the Syrian Mother Youth Caucus & Syria Mother Association for Development, December, 2016.)
Happening This Week:
The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF) has been working throughout December to support Assyrian families in Syria during the Christmas season. War torn and weary, your help has made all the difference for Assyrian families, for mothers, children and those with fathers who are fighting to hold on to their homes and land.
As the year comes to a close, we sat down with Ashur (not his real name) who works as the spokesman for the Gozarto Protection Forces and as the press secretary for the Mother Syria Youth Caucus in Qamishli, to ask him about what he and the Assyrian children of Syria had been doing for the holidays. The response we got was poignant, humbling and powerfully sad.
RNNF: It is Christmas time – tell us about what you are doing there in Qamishli.
Ashur: Frankly, though I went to several concerts on the occasion of Christmas, I did not feel the spirit of Christmas, because the image of my friends who were killed in the bombings on 30 December of last year did not depart from my imagination, add to that the large burden work incumbent upon me in spite of my age, you can say that I spend most of the Christmas season in the work and the little ones in entertainment.
RNNF: How are people celebrating Christmas in Qamishli and Khabur Valley?
Ashur: Most people celebrated Christmas in their homes, where the celebration was limited appearances to concerts, greeting relatives and going to restaurants – so the choices are limited. You will also be able to sense the fear in people’s hearts that something will happen to spoil the holiday cheer with a shimmer of hope and optimism that this period shall expire with joy and peace.
RNNF: What sort of special activities have you been able to arrange for the children?
Ashur: Children are the angels of the earth, and from this point the organizations that I work with (Syrian Mother Youth Caucus & Syria Mother Association for Development) made activities for children, and we made a huge celebration included most areas of the province (Qamishli, Hasaka and the Khabur group of villages) and we have distributed gifts for children in addition to the distribution of sweets, as we teach them Christmas hymns in Assyrian so they will remember their language.
RNNF: What is being planned for New Years? Will you do anything?
Ashur: People here live day to day, but what I’m planning to do in the coming year is to lose weight, learn French and to continue to work in the voluntary and humanitarian field. As for New Year’s Eve, it is likely that I will spend it in the house by myself with a light dinner and a glass of whiskey.
RNNF: Ashur, what are your hopes for the New Year? Do you see an end to the war?
Ashur: Perhaps wishes for the New Year are a bit cliche, but I really hope that we can end the war and return to live in peace so that I can complete my studies and we can think about our futures, which have been destroyed because of the crisis. As for your question to me that I could see the end of the war, my answer is I do not know, but I hope so, because it seems as if the closer we get to resolving the crisis, the more other countries get involved and this continues the crisis.
RNNF: Anything else you would like to say to the people in the US?
Ashur: I’d like to say Merry Christmas and happy new year – God bless you all.
RNNF: Thank you, Ashur.
Ashur: Thank you and everyone.
We don’t think that we could add anything to what Ashur has said expect “thank you” for all the support. We could not bring hope to Syria and financial support to organizations like Syrian Mother Youth Caucus & Syria Mother Association for Development without your help. Your support continues to give us all a reason for hope.
In The News:
Timing is eveything?
As the year comes to a close, terrorists get a break as President Obama will transfer more suspects out of Gitmo.
This New Year’s, don’t get caught out alone
Woman beheaded in Afghanistan for going out in city without her husband
Christmas in Chad, Africa
Can Christians proclaim Christ to Muslims?
Russia and Turkey organize ceasefire in Syria – so far few violations are reported.
A year’s end (at last?)
The biggest Middle East stories of 2016?
The Weekly Report is produced by the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. All donations to the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation are tax deductible. To support the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation, click here. If you would like to know more about the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation, please contact us and we will get right back to you.
Thank you –