Mosul celebrates first Eid without ISIL since 2014

People in the Iraqi city of Mosul on Sunday celebrated their first Eid since being freed of ISIL control, although concerns for thousands of civilians trapped in a small area still held by the group cast a pall over the festivities. 

Children gathered in squares on the eastern side of the city. Some played on old swings and others with toy guns and rifles, which were among the toys allowed by ISIL militants after they took over the city in June 2014. 

The militants implemented an extreme version of Islam which associated toys with a face, such as dolls, with idolatry. They encouraged youngsters to train on weapons and changed textbooks to reflect their military ideology. Children were asked to add up bombs or bullets in maths exercises. 

Church in Need: “Iraqi Christians can start to go home!”

On Wednesday 28th June, Aid to the Church in Need UK will publish their latest report: ‘Now Iraqi Christians can start to go home’. In the report you will discover how compassion is making the difference to Christians in Iraq. 

Iraq’s Nineveh Plains have been desolate since Daesh seized them in the summer of 2014, causing those living there to flee – most Christians sought sanctuary in the Kurdish capital Erbil where they have been cared for by the Church. 

Concert of Colors, Uniting Communities Across America

The Concert of Colors is metro Detroit’s free annual diversity-themed music festival. It is produced by the Arab American National Museum with partners Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and University of Michigan – Detroit Center. 

The goal of this five-day festival is uniting metro Detroit’s diverse communities and ethnic groups by presenting musical acts from around the world. Over its 25-year history, the festival has become a beloved highlight of metro Detroit’s summer festival season, and one of the few free-admission music festivals remaining locally.

#WITHREFUGEES: KHALIDA’S STORY

“I’m from Mosul originally. My parents and grandparents are from the city, and I met my husband there and set up a home near the centre to raise my family. But despite it being home, we knew we had to flee when Daesh [ISIS] arrived. 

We knew they would bring terror to our streets and that if we didn’t try to escape immediately, we might never be able to do so. We didn’t even have time to pack bags. I grabbed my two children and together with the rest of my family, we tried to escape. It was absolute chaos. 

Thousands of Mosul children in grave danger

An estimated 50,000 children are in grave danger as the fighting in Mosul enters what is likely to be its deadliest phase yet, warns Save the Children. 

As the offensive moves into the densely populated streets of the Old City, the charity says parties to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to minimise civilian casualties, and refrain from using explosive weapons which will inevitably kill civilians, including children.