It wasn't an event. Or a" one-off." It was the introduction of a culture. A culture of peace. Three days later and we are still unable to process this historical day where two cultures and two people groups met and engaged . Yezidi and Muslim. It was a day where peace reigned and hope abounded and love broke through.
So for today, just pics because they will say it all...in no particular order...because sometimes things just happen in no particular order. And it can be the very best way.
It was a day of building new memories. For many the last time that the Yezidi children were gathered in a hall with another hundred people, is when they were being separated from their parents, never to see them again, and to be carted off at gun point to Mosul.
For many of our children, the last time that they were with such a large group of children was in the recruitment camps of the black flag people in danger of being beheaded if they did not implicitly obey orders.
For some of our children the last time that they aided in food preparation was as slaves in the kitchens of the black flag people, preparing food at knife point.
For some of our children the ability to eat freely was in total contradiction to the starvation and emaciation imposed by the black flag people.
For all of our children the ability to lie on the floor and draw was the restoration of a safety and security that was stolen on August 3rd 2014.
For all our our Yezidi children it was a wonder to be served with unending grace and love by our Syrian Muslim kids who are all peace heroes in the making.
For our courageous rescuers ( who love their selfies ) it was a time to chill and enjoy the healing journey of those they lay down their lives to save.
For our amazing band, Mr Abdul and Mr Hamzo, they simply couldn't believe their ears and eyes. Peace had taken on a new sound. Fresh, alive as our Syrian and Yezidi kids decided to take the mic and sing.
Chef Mirza...oh what a star. He left his restaurant for a few pans on camping gas inside and produced a banquet for 120 hungry children plus their guardians.
Thanks from the bottom of our hearts to all who took part, to Jehat on the grill, to Sherzad our gatekeeper , to the Police, to the Medical centre who were on alert, to the Shariya camp management ...and to you, dear reader, those of you who cheer us on from the sidelines..
Kids Pursuing Peace. You are part of breaking in and quietly slowly changing a culture.
I think between us, we took thousands of pics...and today I share them simply because we love to brag about our kids, our friends, our extended family, our team and our volunteers. It is our honor and joy to do life inside this community in Northern Iraq.
With love from all of us at Springs of Hope Foundation.