Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas in a Refugee Camp

From the Daily Mail:
These beautiful pictures of Christmas prayers and glowing nativity scenes hide a much darker reality. Hundreds of Iraqi Christians, who now occupy these makeshift tents in Erbil, were forced to abandon their homes to escape the wrath of Islamic State fighters. They are safe from immediate danger in this camp built around the Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church in Ankawa. But dropping temperatures pose a serious threat to those who hurriedly left their homes without their possessions or winter clothes.

Over 250,000 Syrian refugees had already settled in the autonomous Kurdish region in Northern Iraq when Islamic State extremist began to advance further into Iraq in June. Since then, another one and a half million displaced refugees have flocked to the area. Purpose-built camps have been built for many but the sheer number of evacuees means thousands of families have to settle in unfinished buildings which offer little or no warmth, and no realistic prospect of returning home. (Read more.)


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