23 December 2015
Nabil Jelil Daud and his wife, Semira Ayup Miha, both from Qaraqosh, Iraq, now live in a camp for internally displaced people in Erbil. “It is very difficult to be happy on this Christmas because we are outside our homes,” Mr. Daud said. (photo: CNS/Oscar Durand)
The holiday season this year is dramatically different for many in Iraq. CNS’s Oscar Durand reports:
Habiba Daud remembers Christmas in Qaraqosh as beautiful. The festivities would start days before with the preparation of traditional food and desserts. Families celebrated around a large Christmas tree.
On Christmas her family and friends gathered to enjoy the food and spend time together, chatting and playing with the children.
This year will be the second Christmas Daud will spend away from her home, against her wishes. In August 2014, Islamic State fighters seized Qaraqosh, a city less than 20 miles southeast of Mosul.
The Islamic State attacks in northern Iraq displaced more than 120,000 Christians, as well as minority Muslims and Yezidis.
In the first weeks the displaced lived in tents and temporary shelters in parks and churches. Today in Ain Kawa, there are eight camps where refugees live in plastic trailers locals call “caravans.” Many rent apartments or live with friends and family in others parts of Iraq.
The video below, co-sponsored by CNEWA and CNS, offers a vivid and poignant glimpse at how displaced Iraqi Christians are celebrating Christmas this year. Please keep them in your prayers this season. And to remember them in a special way, visit this link.
Tags: Iraq Iraqi Christians Iraqi Refugees