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The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation Newsletter, May, 2017

Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Media, News, Newsletter, Rally - Secure - Restore | 0 comments

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. Sincerely, David William Lazar, MBA President Restore Nineveh Now Foundation Restore News 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...

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A meeting with the ambassador from Iraq to the United States

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Help Right Now, News, Rally - Secure - Restore | 0 comments

A meeting with the ambassador from Iraq to the United States

This February Mr. David W. Lazar and Mr. Peter Bityou met with His Excellency Fareed Yasseen, ambassador from Iraq to the United States, to deliver a letter to His Excellency Dr. Haidar Al- Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq. Here is the details: Download (PDF,...

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A call for US and International aid

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Media, News, Rally - Secure - Restore | 0 comments

A call for US and International aid

The victims of ISIS’ attacks are being excluded from US and International aid. In a joint statement, the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation and the Assyrian Aid Society are calling on the United States and the United Nations to immediately end this exclusion, and bring badly needed aid to those who have suffered most under the terror of the Islamic State in Iraq. Download (PDF, Unknown)...

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The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – December, 2016 – Issue 4

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Help Right Now, News, Rally - Secure - Restore, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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: Christmas in Syria 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...

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The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – January, 2017- Issue 1

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Help Right Now, News, Newsletter, Rally - Secure - Restore | 0 comments

The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – January, 2017- Issue 1

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: The Assyrian flag, unifying symbol of Assyrians throughout Iraq, the Middle East and the world.) Happening This Week: What’s in a name? After nearly three months of fighting, Iraqi forces have reached the Tigris river the runs through the center of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the Islamic State’s last major stronghold in that country. Although the fighting has been slow and hard, and Iraqi forces have avoided turning Mosul into the next Aleppo, the Islamic State is almost surrounded on the western side of the city. The end of the Islamic State in Iraq is drawing nearer and nearer. As it does, talk in the West is turning to what should be done for (or in some less thought out statements “with”) the Christians of Iraq. How will they be preserved in Iraq and can they have a region, or perhaps at best, a “safe zone” of their own? While these questions are absolutely the right ones to ask they are being asked in absolutely the wrong way. Although well intended, and with the best and right motivations, no region or safe zone can, or should, be created for Christians in Iraq. Why? Because there are no provisions under Iraqi constitutional law for sectarian regions or even the allowance for a sectarian state. While it is true that Islam is de facto the religion of the land in Iraq, the “spirit of the law” is one that aims for an Iraq free from sectarianism. What, then, is to be done for the victims of the ISIS’ genocidal war? Should there be safe zones for these peoples? Should there be semi-autonomous regions like that enjoyed by the Kurdish people of Iraq? Absolutely, and those zones and regions should be organized in the same way that the current Kurdish region is, that is along ethnic, and not religious lines. This begins by using the right terms concerning the people of Iraq’s Nineveh Plain, terms that they themselves prefer to use. While most of the victims of the Islamic State’s invasion of northern Iraq do practice Christianity, they are Assyrian by ethnic descent, and very proud of it. As a people, the Assyrians have a history that goes back almost 5000 years, with a unique language and culture that survives despite centuries of difficulty in the Middle East, one the world’s most turbulent regions. Yes, most (but not all) Assyrians are Christians, but above everything else they are Assyrian. And yes, Assyrians should have a region in Iraq where they and other ethnic groups, like the Yezidis, Shabaks and...

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The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – December, 2016 – Issue 3

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Media, News, Newsletter | 0 comments

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: Elias Nasir and Dawod Jendo (R.I.P.), Khabur Assyrian Council of Guardians. Photo credit, The Rise of Gilgamesh.) Happening This Week: A Reason for Joy As we pass the halfway mark in December, it’s (finally) starting to feel like Christmas. At this time many of us think more about our blessings and the things that we are thankful for. This week, have we got a story about someone who, thanks to you, is very blessed and thankful. Elias Nasir, one of the military commanders for the Khabour Assyrian Council of Guardians, has been very blessed and has much to be thankful for this December. Back in April of 2015 Elias Nasir and Dawod Jendo, both commanders in the Khabur Assyrian Council of Guardians in the Khabur Valley, Syria, were asked to come to a secret meeting with a group of local Kurdish leaders from the YPG. Unknown to both men the meeting was a trap, and they were ambushed. Both men were badly beaten, and after hours of torture, taken out and shot, execution style in the back of the head. Dawod was killed instantly but Elias, by God’s grace, was shot through the neck, and fell forward, pretending to be dead. After being shot again in the back by the Kurdish YPG, Elias was assumed dead and left, along with Dawod’s lifeless body, near the Euphrates damn in north central Syria. Once he was sure that his would-be killers had left, Elias dragged his badly wounded body nearly one half mile to a nearby road where he was found and taken to hospital. That was over a year and half ago. Today, in December 2016, Elias is out of Syria, in hospital awaiting the next in a series of surgeries to rebuild his face and jaw. Throughout this year and half Restore Nineveh Now Foundation has been helping to pay for Elias’ care and reconstructive surgeries. This week we are please to bring you a letter from Elias, written from his hospital bed, in which he thanks all of us for the continuing support: To all my fellow Assyrian brothers and sisters, You are all aware of the harsh conditions our beloved Khabur has endured; The invasion of our villages by the dark hordes that and the resulting mass exodus of our Assyrian people from their homes. In response to this, our Assyrian nation in the diaspora stepped up and provided financial assistance to help minimize this human tragedy and to help maintain our presence in the homeland (Northern Iraq and Khabur). I must tell you that there are...

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The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation’s Weekly Report – December, 2016 – Issue 2

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Media, News, Newsletter | 0 comments

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:  The flag of the Khabur Assyrian Council of Guardians now flys over the village of Baz, Syria. Click the image to watch the “thank you” video.) Happening This Week: A season of “Thank you” from Khabur A couple of weeks ago we showed you a video of the Islamic State damage to the villages in Khabur, Syria. Thanks to your support of our Crowdrise campaign, Assyrian residents are returning to their homes in the Khabur Valley. This week, some of the residents of the village of Baz, Syria, are returning to their homes, and have sent a very personal “thank you” video to Restore Nineveh Now Foundation, the Ashur Foundation and the Khabur Assyrian Council of Guardians.  Thanks to your help, we are making progress for the residents of Khabur. In this season of charity and giving, let’s keep up the support for those who so need and appreciate it. And a “Thank you” from the Ashour Foundation Getting help to those you need it most in Syria is not easy. To deliver aid to Assyrians in the Khabur Valley, the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation works closely with and through the Ashour Foundation, located in Germany. Recently the head of the Ashour Foundation, Yousif Adam, also sent a letter of “thanks” for all of the support that your donations have mabe possible. From the Ashour Foundation through the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation to you – thank you. Download (PDF, Unknown) In The News: Are we reaching a turning point? Russian forces are pushing the fight against Syrian rebels in Aleppo, warning that they will “be crushed” if they do not lay down their arms. President-elect Donald Trump: Defeating “radical Islam” will be first priority in US foreign policy. Let’s hope so. Free at Last The story behind the hostages from Khabur – RNNF was in constant contact with the players as this drama was unfolding. We are relieved that they are all (mostly) free. Is the leader of the Islamic State dead? There are signs, according to this piece in the International Business Times, that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is no more. 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 – Restore Nineveh Now...

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A Great Voice Has Fallen Silent

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in News | 0 comments

A Great Voice Has Fallen Silent

(Mr. David (Dawed) Shamoon Younan, lifelong Assyrian activist – 1929 – 2016) On October 8th, 2016, David Shamoon Younan, father of Ninva Younan Lazar, passed away after a fourteen month battle with complications from a stroke.       . During his lifetime David selflessly supported numerous causes and organizations which worked on behalf of the Assyrian people. David Younan did not just talk about the fight for Assyrian rights, he lived it – his whole life. The son of survivors of the Assyrian Genocide (Seyfo) of 1915, David’s parents fled to Russia to escape the onslaught of the Ottoman Turks and their Kurdish allies. In turn David was born in Moscow in 1929, and as a young boy he and his family were forced out of Russia by the dictator Stalin. Settling in Iran, David met his wife Nata Younan, and their union would eventually be blessed with 7 children and 17 grandchildren. With the coming of the radical, Islamic Revolution in Iran, David was again forced from his home and made his way to United States. Drawing on his personal experience of persecution and discrimination, David Younan became a lifelong Assyrian nationalist, one who generously supported Assyrian causes, organizations, churches and people in need. To honor his legacy, to continue his fight, the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation has set up the Dawed Younan Memorial Fund in support of those Assyrians who have lost their homes in Syria’s Khabour Valley. Throughout his lifetime, David knew the pain and anguish of being driven from his home. This is very same pain being felt by Assyrian Christians in the Khabour Valley in Syria. David Younan may be gone, but working together, we can keep his dream of a home and homeland for Assyrians alive and thriving. Please generously support the Dawed Younan memorial...

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The Assyria Region – A Clarification

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Rally - Secure - Restore, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Assyria Region – A Clarification

On Monday, September 12, Cristina Silva published a piece in the The International Business Times titled Christian Homeland The Answer To Islamic State Violence? Christians In The Middle East Demand Sovereign Nation. Silva begins her article by writing, “A Christian homeland in the Middle East would help protect persecuted Christians fleeing violence from the Islamic State group and other militant threats, a growing group of Christian leaders insist.” Although Silva never says so directly, her piece presumably (at least in part) allude to H.C.Res.152, a resolution introduced on September 9th, 2016 by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, with the intent of “Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States and the international community should support the Republic of Iraq and its people to recognize a province in the Nineveh Plain region, consistent with lawful expressions of self-determination by its indigenous peoples.” Any relationship to H.C.R. 152 aside, Silva’s opening statement is bold, provocative, and as misleading as it is untrue. First, H.C.R. 152 does not call for the creation of a Christian homeland or sovereign nation in Iraq. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there are no “Christian leaders” “insisting” on the creation of a “Christian homeland,” let alone a “growing group.” The one overtly Christian organization that Silva mentions in her piece, the International Christian Union, has, according to its website, one member, Joseph Hakim. While RNNF does not know Hakim well, and he may be a well-intended soul, he is not a leading figure concerning events in northern Iraq. Silva further wrote that groups like the Philos Project and In Defense of Christians “want U.S. leaders to help them establish a safe zone for Christians in the Middle East.” While this statement by Silva is less untrue than her first, it is not wholly accurate. RNNF works closely with the Philos Project and In Defense of Christians, and since the story went up, has communicated with the leadership of both by email. In the case of the Philos Project, which is headed up by Robert Nicholson, RNNF has learned that Silva never spoke with Mr. Nicholson, despite quoting him at length in the piece. In response to Silva’s work, the Philos Project posted the following clarification concerning HCR 152: “Does this resolution seek to create an independent Christian state? No. The province called for in the resolution is neither Christian nor a state. It is a province inside the federal Republic of Iraq designed to aid in the resettlement and protection of all minorities who have been affected by ISIS.” Why do these distinctions and clarifications matter? They matter because what Iraq (and the greater Middle East) badly needs at this time is less, not more, sectarianism and inflammatory language. Silva’s sloppy and inaccurate piece does just the opposite. As for RNNF, we have, since our founding, advocated for the creation of three provinces in northern Iraq; Nineveh Plain, Sinjar and Tal Afar, with each province representing the traditional homeland for Iraq’s Assyrian (in Nineveh Plain), Yezidi (in Sinjar) and Turkmen (in Tal Afar) peoples. While most Assyrians are Christians, the Yezidis are Yezidi, and the Turkmen are Shiite and Sunni Muslim, these three peoples have for centuries lived and worked peacefully together. Taking advantage of this unity, these three provinces would further cooperate to form one region, the...

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The Newsletter is here

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Newsletter, Rally - Secure - Restore | 0 comments

The Newsletter is here

To catch up on what the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation has been up to over the summer, here is our lastest newsletter. Restore Nineveh Now Foundation –   Download (PDF,...

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