Making Tea…

I was delivering some bread, eggs, jam and cheese for the morning when I saw this man taking some kind of liquid and to the pot. When I got close enough I found out it’s tea. They make it in a cooking pot or whatever this big thing is called and then divide it into smaller portion per tent. Such a creative way to make tea for about 2,500 persons. I can’t say but… Iraqis love their tea!

In one of the biggest camps/Centers for the Christians IDPs, Mart Shamoni Church lead by an amazing man of God Father AmNoeel (Emmanual). Father Emmanual is one of the best people I met during this crisis. He’s humble, respectful, honest and did all he can for the people. His camp was relatively big, one of the biggest in Ankawa were most of the Christians if not all of them is based in Erbil. He had about 2,500 but not until the last visit that I paid him. The number decreased almost half of those people left or leaving.

The winter is coming so some of the families are being moved to a rented accommodations (rented for about a month to see how the situation be after that) by the Church Committee with the help of international aid I assume. Or they are being moved to one of the big incomplete Mall centers in Ankawa as well, called Ankawa Mall where the UN put a plastic containers inside and created a (rentable!?) place for the IDPs to live in. Some of the families are forced to leave to Baghdad because the didn’t find a place to live in after being evacuated from the center they were in (School is getting evacuated because it’s about to start after pushing it until the end of October).

Now there is about 5,000 IDPs that are re-displaced from Erbil to Baghdad. In total from the beginning of this year until now there is around 1.7 Million person that got displaced scattered in about 1,700 location in the whole of Iraq. Not all these locations are looked after, not all these locations are being taken care of, not all these location are even heard of in the media.

I don’t want to leave you with a horrible statistics so, I will tell you what the guy making tea told me when I got closer to see what he was making. Actually he didn’t say anything, he looked at me then at the tea. “Yes please.” I answered.

Peace and Love,
Dr. Sarah AK Ahmed

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They Made My Day…

So sorry that I haven’t put an update for so long. I have been trying to find more communities that I can help when I got across this amazing Monastery in Duhok! It’s called Monastery of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Carmel. Which was established as I learned four years ago. Who established it or one of them, was Father Gadir Carmel, who is in charge of one of the oldest churches in Baghdad, Church of the Virgin Fatima Latin. Funny enough this church is just next to Saint Georges Church, which the FRRME is taking care of. As far as Father Gadir is saying his church was 400 in size and now dropped down to 60 people on a normal Sunday, a reality that sadden him a lot.

Now with him traveling to the North-Kurdistan twice a month, the Monastery that he’s responsible for is taking care of more than 1400 IDPs all Yazidis that were affected directly by Daash. With very limited funding the are not able to do but so much. So now I am fully supporting them, and will also add those 1400 to my family here. People are suffering and things are not getting any better with winter on the doors.

Please forgive me for not updating you.
Peace and Love,
Dr. Sarah
p.s. The picture is taken for a beautiful two kids, brother and sister, when I crossed out side the fence they smiled at me, and I couldn’t resist. They were looking at me and wanting me to say something, so I told them I have a gift for you. I went and got them something, their Dad who was watching said to me, “You made their day.” I told him, “Nope, they made mine.”

 

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Going Back on Monday

She still had it in her to smile when we looked at her to take the picture. Whenever I see her I feel good. Through all the hardship that they went through, she still didn’t lose home and she told me that, “God is with us.” She is one of the Christian that left Nineveh in August. Until this day there is no solution for all of the people that were ID – Internally displaced.

I am so sorry that I wasn’t able to report for last week or so, but we were traveling to raise awareness and let people know what’s happening. Telling people that war is not the answer and protecting all the Christians and all the other Religious minorities is the most import thing to do right now.

I will be going back the day after tomorrow and will be able to report and see what’s happening with all our people. All the churches and the local and the international Organizations FRRME partnered with did more than what is needed when I wasn’t up north. So, thank you very much for all your help and I can’t wait to see and check on all of you when I am there on Monday.

Peace and Love,
Dr. Sarah

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Playing Cards…

I was looking through the pictures that I had to send some of them to our team in the UK to put in the calendar, and I saw this one. It’s a picture that was taken in one of the “Camps” How amazing it is. It’s very simple and it say one thing only. Those people found a home in any place they are in. They are playing cards when they are in the worst situation they can be in. They found friendship and company. The thing that this picture symbolize is the thing that ISIL is trying to take away from us, it’s what they are after.

It’s HOPE.

Peace and Love,
Dr. Sarah

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“…Play ISIS…”

Kids being excited that they will get toys next time I visit. One of the boys said I want a gun, and then they all started saying, “We want guns.” I told them that guns is such a bad idea because we have enough already, then I asked them what would they do with it. “We want to play ISIS.” they all shouted.

Peace and Love,
Dr. S

kidss1

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Abu Ammar and the “Blue Book”!

For each Camp -depending on the size- I would see a leader or two, sometimes even more. This one is called Abu Ammar. He was from a very wealthy family, and he had all he needed and more back in Mousl, but all gone when ISIS attacked. Abu Ammar had a list of all them people in “his” section, section B, and he helped me figure out who needed medical care, wheelchair, medial cane, a cradle, or anything else. No body can get in conflict with Abu Ammar because he earned their respect and they can’t but listen to his words! Which is funny in away. In any case he was of a great help and great source of information about the displaced families in section B or A or D ^_^. He had everything in his big blue book he has under his arms all the time. I can just say God bless him and keep him to do the good work he’s doing. Whenever I go their he end up thank me for whatever I got and says that God will be with me for what I am doing, and God will be with FRRME for providing.

Abu Ammar was always satisfied with the little he had during this crisis. He says that he had too much in the past that nothing will do now. Last time I went to Baharka Camp, because I was looking for him and I found him there. I asked him how things were after the UN was in play in that camp. His response was, “It’s better now, but you know Dr. nothing like home.”

Peace and Love,
Dr. Sarah AK Ahmed
FRRME

Post by Because, I Love Peace.

abu Ammar

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20 August 2014:

The situation as I see it is not getting any better It might become better in a week after all the aids we see coming in, come in for real. In “Ankawa” where most of the Christians came, there is now 24 to 25 centers. Centers mean that there is about 70 to 650 families living in one place. Some of the places are schools, churches, and big halls that was rented by the high council for christian religious leaders. Sometimes there is more than 2000 people in one centers. All these centers are connected to the same “Warehouse” where food and supplies get distributed systematically and equally to each centers. Because of the intensity and the amount of the people, the warehouse is not able to meet all the demands. That’s why I do daily visits to the centers that are most in need to get them what they lack. Providing over 4000 meals per day was my work for the past few days when I found a couple of centers, where people were sleeping hungry.

Providing beds, pillows, and covers for all the families that had nothing to sleep on was a good sport for me and my angelic helpers today. Among the Shabaks, Yazidis and people from Hamdania or Qaraqwish “Cradles” is still a big thing. Today when I went to my Cradle carpenter, he said that a couple of Christians came sailing their cradle to get some money but they still needed the cradle. It’s really sad what’s happening. Most of the people feel really frustrated because they left all they had to come to safety to Erbil, and they are not getting anything as well.

So many trying to help but there is so much needed as well. Today was a very busy day in which we were able to provide:

- Bread: was supplied for about 3,500.

- Wheelchairs: was needed in one day for about 15 person that are severely disabled.

- Cradles: is still one of the most important items! In one day for about 90 families that have 6 months and under child.

- Portion of food: supplied for about 300 families.

- Beds: was provided for about 100 families.

- Pillows: was provided for about 100 families.

- Blankets: was provided for about 100 families.

- Air coolers: is needed in this heat for more than 80 families.

- Meat: provided for more than 650 for lunch in one day.

I know that this is not much but for more than 6 hours of the day, this help is really worth it. This list of items I listed, I just listed to tell you that this simple list draw smile on more than 2000 families. So many people is helping to make this happen. First and for most, the foundation that I am proudly part of with none stop funding for all the displaced people no matter what background they come from, The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East FRRME. Razgar, my driver, and Mustafa, my right hand person for two days, they both dedicated themselves to help me in my mission. Also, I am so thankful to all the people that are running the centers in Ankawa, like Abua Amanweel or Mr. Wissam, and the list is long. They are selfless people that as far as I saw they never complained and they only are their to serve God.

And I just want to say thank you for all the people who are giving and contributing to FRRME throw BILPeace. There is so much funds that is translating into food, water, shutler, medical supplies and living supplies for all the displaced people.

People are still waiting for a solution. We’ll see what the new government have to do about this matter.

Peace and Love,

Dr. Sarah AK Ahmed

Director of Operations in the Middle East

Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East FRRME

Current living situation

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I will never stop…

August 19, 2014:

Our team got a little bigger. I have a brilliant driver, Razgar who have been with me since day one in the north. He speaks Kurdish and Arabic, so he’s brilliant to have around. Another add to the team is Mustafa who came in a vacation to meet his family was a super helper as well. It was a blessed couple of days with them around me, it will be hard again when they are not there. No worries though for God is by my side. Following my joined statement with Mustafa for when he was there to help:

“FRRME continued to provide relief for the displaced Christians, Shabak, Yazidi, and Muslims in northern Iraq. We helped in the needs of many refugee camps. The needs of the camps ranged from water, ice, water coolers, mattresses, blankets and pillows. Our journey started at 7 am when we delivered 3,000 pieces of bread to “Mazar Mart Shamoni” which hosts 2,650 displaced people; 650 of which are children. The bread was served during the breakfast meal and again during Dinner.

Then, we left for Al-Hikma school where 650 displaced people have been living in classrooms for the past week. We delivered 150 kg of chicken, 60 dozens of eggs, and 50 kg of potatoes and onions that was cooked and served during lunch. As we were leaving the school, we took a couple of pictures to document the misery of the people so our donors and supporters could see what the people have been going through. Suddenly, a lady cried, “Stop taking pictures. We used to live with dignity in our houses that look like palaces. But we were forced to leave because we feared the brutality of ISIS”. We assured her that the pictures are going to be used for fund raising purposes. We really felt bad and then said sorry to her, and she excused us when we showed her the pictures she knew we didn’t mean to demine her or the situation.

We were then contacted by Father Amanueel who is managing Mazar Mart Shamoni. He asked us to get Air Coolers that are needed to cool the tents, in which the displaced families were living; the air-coolers were for about 80 families. So we moved to the old part of Erbil where home appliances are sold to get the coolers. After finding a reliable type of coolers and paying for it, we bought a 100 mattresses, 100 pillows, and 100 blankets to be provided for a new shelter that has been opened recently for Christian refugees from Mosul. In which about 70 families were living.

Around noon we received a call from the carpenter who had been making cradles for about 40 families letting us know that they were ready. The cradles were provided for the kids from the Shabak minority in a distant camp. We took the cradles and we headed to the camp which was 30 minutes away. As we moved, it became very windy and rained heavily for around 5 minutes. It was not a big deal for us. However, when we got to the camp, we were shocked by the impact the short storm caused to the camp. The camp is located in an open dusty area and consists of tents that are poorly supported. So when the short storm occurred, the tents were blown away and some of them fall over the elderly and the children and caused the death of a woman leaving all her kids behind. The refugees rushed to rescue whoever was impacted and took them to a safer place. Some of the refugees have arrived recently to the camp so they were placed in shelters that were open from above, so when the storm occurred, their stuff got wet and their food got spoiled.

There are so many medical problems and apparently because they are living in the desert where there is no electricity, the canned food they are getting is spoiled. So many people came to us complaining of diarrhea, and vomiting. They said, “Even the food they get us is spoiled Doctor.”, “This is not a life.” The situation is devastated and can’t even put in wards what we saw. People are dying, people are suffering, and we didn’t see any major help provided by the UN as we heard. The tents were UN provided, but after the rain… Can’t even thank them for it.

It was a really hard day, hearing that Amo died, this young lady died, and seeing so much suffering. However, we were happy that we had some relief for them. We distributed the cradles and provided bags of food for more than 300 families. What made our day were the smiles that were drawn on the faces of the disabled people when we gave them the wheelchairs. One of the old disabled people that never left his tent before we saw as we were leaving the camp sitting on his new wheelchair in the main area of the camp with some friends enjoying a conversation.

We ended our day by delivering more bread for about 2000 families for dinner. Also, making more plans for the day after.”

There are so many things needed, and people are getting tired of no one doing anything. I have heard that there is so many aid coming in to the North, but I haven’t seen any. I have seen camps, and their misery. I have seen people, dying. I have seen women who are due, and can’t even go check.  I have seen everything bad, but not much good to equal it. I am hoping that more aid will come in the coming weeks. I’ll keep helping as much as I can meanwhile. I’ll keep providing for all the Christians, and all the other religious minorities: Shabak, yazidis, Ifailies, and Shia Muslims. As the representation and the Director of Operations for the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, I WON’T STOP UNTIL THE LAST DISPLACED FAMILY IN ANY OF THE CAMPS IN THE NORTH OF IRAQ IS EITHER BACK TO THEIR HOME, OR IN A BETTER PLACE. That IS MY PROMISE.

Peace and Love,

Dr. S Ahmed

Please check the updates on Facebook page BILPeace

 

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Rest in Peace Amo…

Part of the effort we are trying to do is to provide as much as we can for the people, as much as they need. When I went around the camps a week ago, I found so many physically disabled or challenged children and elderly people. What I did, is promised them that I will make their life easier by getting them a wheelchair.

I had to travel for a couple of days and then came back and got all the wheelchairs and went to the camp to deliver them. The camp that I saw most people in need for a chair was gone. We didn’t give up and kept going around and asking about it. Finally, I found out where they moved all of them. I went and delivered one by one. I saw the happiness in this simple thing that I was providing.

I was left with one last wheelchair to deliver! I was so excited because the last one was for “Amo” (Uncle) and he cried when I told him I will make it easier for you and get you a wheelchair. When I met him a week ago he was on the ground unable to move, thinking that the only thing he needed was a wheelchair. When I asked excitingly, “NOW TAKE ME TO AMO.” They all looked down on the ground and said, “Sorry Doctor, he died.” I had to end my day after this.

I’m sure I’ll see you in heaven. Rest in Peace Amo.

Peace and Love,
Dr. S Ahmed

mawaak DEAD

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“The rain stopped when you came.”

Rahma

Some of the camps that were in the incomplete structures around “Road 100” were emptied. I went and kept looking for where they moved the 1,000s of families who where there. Finally, yesterday I found them! They were all moved to Baharka Camp. The situation was bad and it was raining, and all the tents fell down, and one poor women died leaving her kids alone in this mess of a time.

“We thought you have forgotten us.”, “We were so sad when you left us, and cried all day long.”,”Older people are bad.” These are the word that I got when my little people ran to me.

There was this little angle that I saw a week ago, and I have promised her to come and play with her. I had no idea where s

he would be though. Little I know after 10 minutes in the camp, I see this orange dressed little girl running to my arms! She hugged me and stayed by my side until I left the camp.

“Ms. Ms. You came and life get better.” She said to me and then held my hand and said, “The rain stopped when yo

u came.”. Those little people have so much hope in them, so much magic. Despite all the have been going through, they still have this pureness and holiness around them. I think it’s God in each one of them.

When I was about to leave she asked me, “Are you coming tomorrow?” I said yes. “Don’t forget us.” They all yelled waving to me goodbye.
Her name is, Rahma (which means mercy)!

Peace and Love,
Dr. S Ahmed

rahma 2

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