Amadiya (AsiaNews) – Below are a collection of photographs of Holy Week and Easter celebrations among the refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh plain. These are the men women and children who fled in the summer of 2014 as a result of the advance of the Islamic State and who still today are living in shelters in Iraqi Kurdistan. The photos were posted by Fr. Samir Youssef, an Iraqi priest of Amadiya, who has been on the front line in welcoming and aiding refugees. Fr Samir is also among the representatives of the campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" launched by our agency to respond to the emergency, which continues today, to offer help to the Christian, Yazidi and Shia refugee 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.
Arab-Kurdish and Sunnis-Shia clashes hinder the return of refugees. High danger of new violence, families spend the night in their cars and the children are traumatized. Fr Samir: serious economic problems, lack of food and heating oil, while governments and NGOs have suspended aid. We need a "miracle".
Fr. Paul speaks with "excitement" and "emotion" about the first Mass "for three years" in the church of Mar Addai. The little town of the Nineveh Plains has long been in the hands of the Islamic State, which devastated the place of worship. Dozens of buses and private vehicles from Erbil to attend the celebration. Streamed live over Facebook.
Fr Paul Thabit speaks of the Palm Sunday celebrations in Karamles. Even in Qaraqosh hundreds of faithful attend the Mass. The hope is to "organize other moments of prayer" in order to "keep the community alive." Sorrow for Christian victims in Egypt. An appeal to the parishes worldwide: Support the reconstruction of a house on the ancient plain.