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The Kids from the Land of Suddenly

We are not in the position to allow elephants into our room. Due to the nature of a 2014 “Suddenly,” following 72 “Suddenlies” for the Yezidi ethno-religious community, we have to confront and address every issue that has the possibility to affect our students in any way. With the solidification and establishment of the IEA or “Da Afganistan Islami Imarat” we had to speak up. Fear is rising in our region, there are those slaughtering sheep as sacrifices for the newly declared Islamic Emirate state of Afghanistan showing open support for the strengthening and take over by the Taliban (whose name means students, or seekers of Sharia Islamic law, and militant Islamism.).

This week, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani sought to calm the Kurdish population, whilst planes from a neighboring country, in an invasion mission of aggression, were once again bombing our border regions. Ears tuned in to the Prime Minister, whilst eyes were focused on the skies as Kurdish lands were again subject to air strikes, and quite frankly eyes won over ears.

This same neighboring country is permitting, or turning an extremely blind eye to supporters of the new IEA who are heading towards the Kurdish border. Not for a camping trip.

Islamic scholars are eschatologically vocal. Even some of our older teens who were forcibly conscripted into the army of ISIS, have heard the ancient prophecies of Khursan (modern Afghanistan) basically “when the black flags are raised in Khurasan, go and join with the forces, the Caliph is amongst them, and nothing will stop them until they raise the black flag in the holy place in Jerusalem”. We can not allow silence. Silence, darkness and fear work well together. We could not be silent in the face of this very real threat both from the IAE and ISIS/K.

Our students have surprised us with the level of care and concern for the children and women of Afghanistan. They could put themselves in their shoes but their messages were not ones of pity but challenges to be strong. They expressed the voices of those who have lived inside this time space called Suddenly.

“I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. And behold the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them.”

Ecclesiastes 4. 1


“I heard about Afghanistan. After seeing the pictures of the children, I remembered when we were running from the evil men, the black men who took over Shingal. This was an awful day and I have always prayed that such a thing would never happen again to any woman or child. Because I have experienced this, I really feel for them. I pray for the kids in Afghanistan every day, that somehow, they will be safe and, in the end, they will return to their homes and their schools.

I know that people who did not know me were praying for me whilst I was in the captivity of Daesh, so now it is my turn to pray for them. I feel brave and empowered to know that maybe I can help someone suffering with a single word, a single prayer.

My message to those suffering in Afghanistan is, "You are not alone, we see you, we hear your cry and we care about you." I took a balloon and wrote “Be strong” on it so that when it reaches the children, they will read the Arabic and be encouraged to be strong.

We released the doves. Yes, they are doves symbolizing peace, but because they were held tight in our hands, they represent freedom, release as they flew free to the sky and onwards to the children.”

- Kristina

“Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

Isaiah 1. 17


“I saw the videos on TV and we discussed it together in the centre. I am terrified. I remember what happened to me, to my family, to all of our community in Shingal. I think that the black men will come again, it will all happen again and we will have to escape again. I am terrified, I can not be alone at the moment, I do not want to be alone when they come for me.