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News / Thoughts

Iraq: Noeh back at school!

December 4, 2017

Remember Noeh? He’s the 12 year-old boy from we’ve been writing about recently. He fled his home in Karamles, a town in the Ninevah Plains when the so called Islamic State (IS) approached back in 2014. The soldiers retreated about a year ago, but they left many homes uninhabitable. Noeh and his family’s home was burnt out.

Noeh and his family, along with other returning families have been rebuilding. The family is currently living in Noeh’s aunt’s house until their house is inhabitable again. And now another great new step towards getting their lives back to normal has happened. Schools in the area are open for the first time since the IS militants occupied the area. Noeh, who wants to be a teacher, is pleased to be back at school and is doing well despite the lack of teachers and resources.

Noeh, 12, said, “I like school. I like my school in particular. My best subject is Arabic language. I also like to play football with my friends at school. I want to be a teacher here so I can teach children about life.”

“Noeh is a smart student and he’s doing well in his exams at school,” said his mother, Almas. “Last time he got 13 out of 15 on one of these tests. I am very happy for that and I thank God.”

Teachers haven’t returned…

As with many other schools in the Nineveh Plain, Karamles’ secondary school lacks teachers. Some left the country or moved away, while others retired. For three subjects Noeh and his classmates have no teacher so other teachers try to cover the subject. But it’s not always possible. “Because the lack of teachers, the daily hours at school are not fixed,” said Almas. “Sometimes Noeh returns home at 11am, sometimes at 12.30pm.”

The classes are also smaller than they were before IS devastated the village. “My friend, Youssif used to sit behind me. But he fled to another country,” said Noeh.

Speak up for Noeh

In December Noeh will travel to New York to present the Hope for the Middle East petition to the UN. The petition calls on world governments and leaders to ensure that every person in the Middle East, no matter their faith, has a home, a future and a voice. The petition currently has over 657,000 signatures from 143 countries including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq and even one signature from North Korea. You have until 8 December to sign and share the petition and speak up for Noeh.

Join our real-life nativity

On December 13th we’ll be gathering in Parliament Square, London, to deliver the petition to the UK government. Find out how you can get involved by being there (and dressing up as Mary or Jospeh in the process!!).

Pray now

  • That Noeh and the other children in the Nineveh Plain will be able to continue their studies in a peaceful environment
  • Thank God that life is returning to normal for them
  • Pray that those who suffered trauma at the hands of IS will recover and be healed from what they have witnessed.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.