Desolation Dwellers and a Pop Up Shop

The Nobel Prize Winner and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel was a believer in words and a believer in questions. He said, that to not transmit an experience is to betray it. We, the good Doctor, Saad and I, the three musketeers, returned to Shingal just a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't a trip we wanted to make. To deliberately transit from the camps of death where we live and breathe every day and drive into the eye of mass destruction , well its not a family day trip with a picnic on the way. It is a journey into the jaws of hell, to be greeted by the malevolent ghosts of hatred and evil lurking on every corner, long kilometer after kilometer. Did we have a purpose? Yes to scout out the camp

The Darkness Dwellers

In her book " A Court of Mist and Fury," Sarah Maas spoke about darkness. " There are different kinds of darkness. There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be." Just down the road from us here in Shariya Village we have darkness dwellers.150 families to be both precise and accurate. Ask them what they would like their darkness to be, they will give you another story. They do not wish for or need this darkness. Give them light and air. As is often our case, we, meaning Saad and I just happenstanced across the darkness dwe

My Kid and his Mission

My kid. Yes that one. The ten year old going on forty. Intelligent and sharp. He dropped by today for tea. Came with his sister and brother. Threw himself into my arms and gave us a lesson on the art of tea making. He was taught in Daesh how to make chai and cafe. Including heating the cup first. The tea is ready. He squeezes lemon into his. Not enough, Adds more. Sips. Still not enough. Gets up, cuts more lemon and squeezes it into his cup. Drinks sweet sour tea and chews on a Mars bar and salty Doritos. He apologizes. " I didn't wear my badge now when I came to visit but I always wear it around the camp, everyone knows that I am the General Manager of Springs of Hope Foundation. I keep the

Saad's Project

Here in Shariya Village there is never a dull moment. But some things happen with boring regularity such as garbage. One morning, same as always I took the garbage out. We had finally tracked down a bright blue garbage dumpster..had to go as far as Fadiya to buy the ugly thing...and now in front of my eyes five kids are just about to fall into this blue monstrosity head first. I decide to take action and go into rescue mode, i.e. just yank them out before some kid be carted off to the garbage tip. I halt, breathe deeply cos the kids are rummaging through the garbage with a great sense of purpose, for pieces of cardboard, and styrofoam . We had just purchased some item for our house which lef

December Diary

A pictorial chronicle of a cry and call to responsibility. Of lives touched by gentle acts of kindness and compassion given with love and generosity of spirit by those sometimes perceived by the receiver, to be the enemy. "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." Robert Kennedy. "We are here to make a difference, to mend the fractures of the world, a day at a time, an act at a time for as long as it takes to

Remember Ralph McTell?

I don't but some words of a vague ditty went through my head on one of those freezing Kurdistan days so I just had to look him up. ( Thats what one does in Kurdistan when there is no electric for the umpteenth time in a day. ) He wrote The Streets of London. " Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London, I'll show you something to make you change your mind" I have become somewhat withdrawn in the past few months. I am struggling with usage of human words and the lack of ability to correctly and accurately portray and describe that to which I am a witness. I desire to use that which I am seeing, that which I am touching, smelling and tasting , namely the results of

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Shariya Camp, Dohuk, Northern Iraq |

© Springs of Hope Foundation - Designed by Shachar Kantor - Photo Credit: Khalid Photograhy, David Cohen Cymerman