August 6, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement on the third anniversary of the flight of Iraqi Dominican Sisters and their neighbors from ISIS.
Three years ago today, our Iraqi Dominican Sisters and their neighbors in the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain fled their homes and livelihoods with little more than the clothes on their backs in the wake of a brutal ISIS attack. For three years, tens of thousands of men, women, and children have been living in tents, trailers, and refugee camps in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq with few resources, great uncertainty and fear. Now, as ISIS is being repelled and vanquished from their hometowns and villages, rubble and ruin is what remains.
As we strain to put ourselves in their situation, we cry out in lamentation. Please join us in taking time to reflect on the events that have led to this heartache. We have family in Iraq.
If you wish to assist the Congregation’s ministerial efforts in support of our Iraqi Dominican Sisters and their work to aid the displaced people of Iraq, please consider making a contribution through the “1000 Cranes for Iraq” project.
November 21, 2016, Qaraqosh, Iraq – More than two years after fleeing their convents on the Plains of Nineveh to escape the onslaught of the Islamic State, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Iraq returned home – only to find Qaraqosh in ruins. While Iraqi soldiers fired celebratory shots after retaking the area from ISIS, the Sisters rummaged through the rubble of their old homes. Even Immaculate Conception Church, the site of many celebrations and liturgies, was in rubble.
Read the article by Adnan R. Khan and watch the video of the Sisters’ bittersweet homecoming.
If you would like to join our efforts to provide monetary support to the Iraqi Sisters, please make a donation here, indicating it is for “Iraqi Relief.” Dominican artists are also helping raise awareness and funds in support of the Iraqi Sisters. Each artist is creating crane artwork and selling the work as a benefit. Visit 1000 Cranes for Iraq for details. Please note that contributions for charitable purposes abroad are not tax deductible under U.S. tax code.
Feature photo: "In the wake of ISIS" by Adnan Khan