Creating beautiful things in the midst of conflict
International | Displaced Iraqi and Syrian women work at a sewing workshop while awaiting asylum
by Mindy Belz
Posted 1/28/19, 12:09 pm
IRAQ: This edition of Globe Trot is coming to you from Hopeful Hands, a sewing workshop located in the basement of the Alliance evangelical church in Erbil. This enterprise employs women whose families were displaced by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. They’ve lost everything, for years now, and many await asylum in Australia and elsewhere. Jobs are hard to come by, and some women travel 90 minutes by bus from camps. They are making beautiful sheet sets, bags, pillows, even hotel curtains—all sourced using local fabric and sold in supermarkets.
- On Friday the Dominican priest Michael Najeeb became the archbishop of Mosul, seated in the newly restored St. Paul’s Church. In 2016, I profiled his work to save thousands of ancient church manuscripts from ISIS destruction and what he called the “live leather” by creating homes for displaced Christians and Yazidis.
- Last week, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched a $17 million “soft loan” program in Nineveh Plain to help revive factories producing olives, tahini, soap, and other products that were destroyed by ISIS. “The intent is to be looking long term to get productive capacity up and running so people can have jobs,” USAID special representative Max Primorac told me, spurring them to return to their communities.
VENEZUELA: President Nicolás Maduro rolled out the Russian hardware on Sunday as an answer to the unprecedented challenge to his authority. Australia and Israel are the latest of about 20 countries to recognize opposition lawmaker Juan Guiadó as interim president, following protests and action by the National Assembly ruling Maduro’s election fraudulent.
- Some background on how the Hugo Chávez–Maduro governments’ socialist agenda has brought on the crisis, and an up-close look by WORLD Magazine’s Jamie Dean at the human cost of economic collapse.
- The United States has recognized interim president Guiadó’s designated representative as its chief U.S. diplomat.
PHILIPPINES: Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Catholic Church during Sunday Mass that has killed 27 people and injured 77. Twin bombings at the cathedral on Jolo Island in Mindanao came just after voters approved last week a referendum granting autonomy to the Muslim-majority Bangsamoro region—which Jolo is a part of—a move tied to negotiations to end jihadist activity via locally based Abu Sayyaf militants.
BRITAIN: If you’re willing to wade into the weeds, here’s a lesson in the way members of Parliament are undermining the referendum to leave the EU in the guise of looking for the “right deal.” (Note to Americans: Brits have arrogant lawmakers, too.)
TURKEY: In Elazig, it’s lambing season and the little ones are racing to meet their flock.
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