Donations are the lifeblood of FRRME and enable the FRRME team to carry out humanitarian relief efforts throughout Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Funds are currently being utilized for needy families and individuals in Baghdad; for Internally Displaced Persons in northern Iraq and Kurdistan; for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey; and for free medical and dental services for people of all faiths.

FRRME prepares for the humanitarian implications of retaking Mosul from ISIS

Thanks to the support of FRRME America donors, Dr. Sarah Ahmed and our team on the ground are doing an outstanding job. In one month last summer, they visited 16 IDP camps in Kurdistan. Despite soaring temperatures, they delivered emergency food relief to 6,268 families. In total, through direct distribution and partnerships on the ground, FRRME America helped 25,000 people.

On July 4, 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared at Mosul’s Great Mosque and proclaimed himself the leader of a new Islamic Caliphate. Up until that point the media focus had been on Syria. But this proclamation, which followed the capture of Mosul by ISIS, showed the world that this was very much an Iraqi organization, with a Salafist leadership.

Following the recapture of Fallujah last June by Iraqi Government forces, Mosul is now the only Iraqi city under ISIS occupation. Yet Mosul is Iraq’s second-largest city, and retaking the city will be a huge undertaking. The humanitarian implications of such an operation are enormous, including for the city’s Christian population...

Iraqi Christians face new persecution as ISIS suicide car bombings rock the capital city of Baghdad

Baghdad has been hit by a series of deadly suicide car bombings, all carried out by the Islamic State. One car bomb killed 12 people and injured dozens more in Baghdad’s Rashidiyah district. This attack happened as members of the Iraqi Parliament were preparing to discuss the security situation in the capital city following the devastating car bombing at a shopping center in the Karrada district just ten days earlier that killed 292 people.

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Dr. Sarah Ahmed on bringing hope to displaced Yazidis families


When Dr. Sarah Ahmed first approaches Yazidi families living in IDP camps in Kurdistan, they often have a request – no cameras. Previous visitors have come and taken pictures, promising to return with help. But they never showed up again and the Yazidis felt used.

“These people are very traumatized and they lost all the trust they have in all humanity,” Dr. Sarah explains. “So they are very fragile.” Building trust is tricky after all they’ve suffered.

“I never say, ‘Here I am, the hero,’ or have them hold signs,” Dr. Sarah explains. “I say, ‘I am like you. I am here to help you.’”

An estimated half-a-million Yazidis are living in camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. Approximately 3,400 women and girls remain in the hands of ISIS, which overran Sinjar, a Yazidi homeland, in August 2014.

Before the current crisis, Dr. Sarah had little contact with the Yazidis, a religious minority living mainly in Iraq. But through her work with FRRME America, and especially now in her role as FRMME Director of Operations in the Middle East, her days are spent coordinating aid deliveries and visiting the recipients.

She is particularly concerned for Yazidi women and girls who were kidnapped by ISIS, and then brutally raped during their captivity. Identifying them is a delicate operation. She finds that many families are not willing to talk about the issue openly. Why? “Because of the honor thing, and the culture that surrounds the situation.” But through regular visits, she is winning their trust, and connecting with them “on a woman-to-woman level.”

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Security situation in Jordan takes a turn for the worse


A suspected ISIS suicide bomber attacked the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan recently. He drove his car into an army checkpoint at the border with Syria, killing six people. This followed an attack in Amman in early June that killed five people, including three Jordanian intelligence officers. The security situation is so bad that the Jordanian Government has temporarily closed the borders with Syria and Iraq.

This will not affect FRRME America’s aid operations in Jordan. But we are mindful of the worsening security situation. The 500 families we are caring for in the country are Christian. Many of them fled Northern Iraq in the summer of 2014 following the annexation of their land by the Islamic State. These recent attacks show how far the sectarian conflict in the Middle East has spread. The violence is once again at their door.

FRRME Autism Centre cares for children with special needs

One of our more recent education projects is our Autism Centre in Kirkuk in Northern Iraq, which cares for children with autism and other special educational needs. This project comes as the brutality and savagery of ISIS reaches to even those who are the most vulnerable. ISIS has reportedly issued a fatwa (a religious decree) ordering the elimination of children with Down syndrome and other congenital disabilities.

Issued by the sharia board of ISIS, the fatwa authorizes ISIS followers to kill infants with these disabilities. It has been estimated that at least 38 children between one week and three months old have been killed by either lethal injection or suffocation. These murders reportedly took place in the city of Mosul and at ISIS strongholds inside Syria.

 

 

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The American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. U.S. taxpayers may make contributions that are deductible under federal tax guidelines.