"We Want To Return Home": Noeh's Story From Iraq

Open Doors and Christians on the Left have partnered together at this year’s Labour Conference to discuss hope in the context of the Middle East. What hope is there for a future in Syria and Iraq? What hope for the next generation? Our event will be taking place at 7.30 on Tuesday 26 September at St Paul's Church, West Street, BrightonPlease click here for more details. Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy, shares some reflections from the Middle East.

flyer-open-doors.jpgSyria and Iraq. Two countries whose names conjure up images of destruction and devastation. Utter hopelessness. Millions have fled. And millions more are internally displaced.

But there are some who still call these countries ‘home’. There are still people who have a vision for a future where Iraq and Syria are peaceful. Where diverse communities can live side by side. Where people can flourish – living life to the full. Some of these people are Christians. The church – although small – has had a vast impact for good in these countries and has the vision to continue to do so in the future.

If you cannot imagine it. Just read these words from a 12-year-old Iraqi boy called Noeh.

NOEH – “WE WANT TO RETURN HOME”                                                                                                   

"After the liberation in October we found out that Islamic State had burned our house. I was very sad when I saw it for the first time," says Noeh.

Noeh is 12 years old - his family fled their home in Karamles, Iraq, when he was just nine, to escape the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). "My Mum and Dad, my brothers and sisters were always around me, and they helped me to overcome the difficulties."

For the last three years they have lived in Erbil with others from their town - they have called the part of Erbil where they have been staying 'Little Karamles'. Thanks to people’s generous prayers and support, Open Doors has been working through local partners to support this community with food aid, trauma training, and income generating projects - some of the people from Karamles have been able to start a small food factory, a bakery, and a restaurant in Erbil.

iraq-cnt-170825.jpgBut Noeh and his family are determined to go back to Karamles to rebuild. Noeh says, "We want to return home. We thank everyone who is helping us. I know there are others from our village who don't want to return, but I do want to return. This is our land."

Such a dream might seem impossible as you look at Noeh's home in Karamles - it has been completely burned out by the militants. Showing what's left of his room, Noeh says, "These were my toys, all of them are now burned. Now I have nothing."

But Noeh says that it is God who gives him the hope that he will be able to return to Karamles. "I feel the Holy Spirit inside me... He tells me it is good to live in Karamles again."

And he already knows what he wants his new room to look like. "I want my bedroom to be colourful - red, blue and green with pictures of FC Barcelona and Jesus on the wall!"

Noeh has a vision for the future. It’s time that we got alongside him and helped him and others realise their dreams for a peaceful, stable society in their countries.

iraq-ftl-170825.jpg

TAKE A STAND - SIGN THE PETITION

Noeh’s church leader, Father Thabet says, "It is our mission to live here in this place as Christians, the place of the root of Christianity. Without faith I do not have a reason to stay here. But I have faith, so I am here."

Thabet has signed the One Million Voices of Hope petition, calling for equality, dignity and responsibility for Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, which is being presented to the UN on 11 December this year. He says, "We need international support and protection. That is the only way our future as Christians in this country can be guaranteed."

Sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition and share it with others.

 

Open Doors is a non-partisan organisation which works across the political spectrum to promote the right to freedom of religion or belief. Please visit their website for more details.

Post topics:
Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment






Related posts on International

Open Doors and Christians on the Left have partnered together at this year’s Labour Conference to discuss hope in the context of the Middle East. What hope is there for a future in Syria and Iraq? What hope for the next generation? Our event will be taking place at 7.30 on Tuesday 26 September at St Paul's Church, West Street, Brighton. Please click here for more details. Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy, shares some reflections from the Middle East.


Open Doors and Christians on the Left have partnered together at this year’s Labour Conference to discuss hope in the context of the Middle East. What hope is there for a future in Syria and Iraq? What hope for the next generation? Our event will be taking place at 7.30 on Tuesday 26 September at St Paul's Church, West Street, BrightonPlease click here for more details. Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy, shares some reflections from the Middle East.



More topics: