Nour: Mindy Belz; Nour and Insaf: Handout

Fellowship of suffering

Iraq | How to make a micro-business from refugee strife
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/14/19, 01:28 pm

ERBIL, Iraq—Like many living in northern Iraq, Nour Adil watched helplessly as her city filled with Syrian War refugees and Iraqis when ISIS took over and destroyed nearby cities. 

“We saw lots of ladies looking for jobs but having a hard time finding them,” Nour recalls. Her mother was skilled at sewing, and Nour had management skills from years in banking. Hopeful Hands was born. 

Read more


Taking flight

Africa | A Nigerian school takes an innovative approach to aviation training 
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/31/19, 12:08 pm

Tomiwa Olatunji sat in a classroom with about a dozen other students, all dressed like pilots in white shirts and navy blue trousers. At the back of the room, a plastic foam model aircraft stood on a table, finished with wirings and wooden parts.

The project was the first for Olatunji and four of his classmates who started at the International College of Aeronautics in Nigeria’s Lagos state in July. The group collaborated on the model’s drawing and construction and on sourcing for the materials around Lagos.

Read more

The NYC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Organ man from Queens

Work & Calling | One New York phone technician saves and fixes old pipe organs
by Emily Belz
Posted 8/22/18, 11:33 am

A New York moment: 

A half-burned organ sits in a historic building, Brooklyn’s oldest Baptist church, surrounded by new luxury condos. I’m working on a story about the church, formerly called the Baptist Temple but now the Recovery House of Worship. In reporting the story I came across Keith Bigger, 71, who has spent years caring for that organ. 

Read more