The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation Newsletter, May, 2017
Dear supporters of Restore Nineveh Now Foundation,
This past month has been one of the busiest this year for the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation.
We are very pleased to announce that through many months of hard work with our strategic partners in Washington, DC, we have accomplished a MAJOR mile stone in the fight for funding and support of those displaced Assyrians and other minorities in Iraq.
As you will read, the opportunity is now in place to secure significant amounts of funding for Assyrians, Yazidis, Turkmens and other minorities in the Nineveh Plain.
Next, The Gozarto Protection Force (GPF) in Syria is engaged in one of their largest and fiercest fights against the Islamic State in Syria. While details are developing, we can say that the GPF is now seen as more vital than ever to bringing peace back to Syria.
To be brief, let me assure you that the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation is continuing to fight hard for the Nineveh Plain and everyone who lives there. As you have heard from me before, we can not thank you enough for your support. All the gains that we have made have happen because of your support. If I could ask you to take a moment to click on a donate button below and join us in our support of the Assyrians, the Yezidis and all the people who call the Nineveh Plain their home, we promise to continue our work for their future.
David William Lazar, MBA
Restore Nineveh Now Foundation
Big News from RNNF in Washington, DC.
This past March marked one year since then US Secretary of State John Kerry declared ISIS “responsible for genocide” against Iraq’s ethno-religious minorities of Assyrian Christians, Yazidis, Turkmens and others.
As encouraging as that declaration was, it turned out to be only lip service. Nothing (and we mean nothing) was done for distressed Assyrian Christians, Yazidis, Turkmens and other minorities owing to this declaration.
To add insult to injury, the Obama Administration purposefully excluded ISIS survivors from its humanitarian, security, and stabilization programs. Nothing, not one penny, of Obama Administration’s $1.1 billion (yes, “billion” with a “B”) in humanitarian aid dispensed last year by the State Department and US Agency for International Development went to Iraq’s religious and ethnics minorities.
When the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation demanded to know how it could be that those who had been MOST victimized by ISIS’s terror were completely left out of US aid for victims of ISIS’ terror, we were informed by USAID officials under Obama that US law forbids “a religious test” for aid. This strange explanation completely ignored the fact that Assyrians, Yazidis and Turkmen badly need US aid because they have been targeted by ISIS for being, well, Assyrians, Yazidis and Turkmens!
However, a new administration in Washington has presented new opportunities – which we have been quick to capitalize on. Working with our strategic partners in DC, we have pressed the case that those who need the aid were those whom ISIS attacked because of their ethnic and religious background.
Well, great news: On May 5th, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (see below, page 1, 2 and 3), which requires the Department of State and USAID to make available “humanitarian assistance for vulnerable and persecuted religious minorities, including victims of genocide.”
What does this mean for Assyrians, Yazidis and Turkmens in the Nineveh Plain? Put simply, it means that they cannot, by force of law, be excluded from the millions in US aid and funding.
This may seem like so much DC, bureaucratic, paper shuffling – but it’s not. It means that now Assyrians, Yazidis and Turkmens, as well as the organizations who represent them, can apply for and secure significant amounts of funding to rebuild the Nineveh Plain and the communities that were once the backbone of northern Iraq.
Will the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation be pushing for a share of those now-available funds? Absolutely. Could we have gotten this far without your support and the support of our partners in DC? Absolutely not.
Let’s pour it on!
The GPF Back in the Fight
As we write this newsletter, groups of the The Gozarto Protection Forces (GPF) are being sent to take part in breaking ISIS’ hold on the ancient city of Deir Ezzor. Located some 53 miles to the northwest of the now destroyed archaeological remains of the city of Dura-Europos (which, like Palmyra, held priceless artifacts), Deir Ezzor has suffered under ISIS for several years.
Although for security reasons RNNF cannot reveal how many GPF fighters are being sent to fight the Islamic State, we can report that they are being sent in strategic groups, each being deployed to various points around the city in preparation for the offensive.
“The area is very hot, both in terms of the weather and fighting,” said Ashur, military spokesman for the GPF. “We are of course praying for their success and successful return,” he added.
Composed of Assyrian fighters from the Governorate of Al-Hasakah, from both the city of Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli, the GPF protects the remaining Assyrian Christian section of Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli, and has participated in several battles against the Islamic State, notably the liberation of Assyrian town of Qaryatayn in 2016 and the defense of Sadad in 2015.
We will carefully follow the progress of this latest deployment and bring you updates as they develop.
Overdue Book – A new work on the Assyrian Genocide published
From Khabour – Assyrian family shares tale of capture, displacement
The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible. To donate to 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 –