The Kurdish Peace Feast

“Can we just have 10 seconds of silence, please?” a Kurdish man asked.

It was our Kurdish Peace Feast. Three of his relatives had been killed by the ISIS group last week. He wanted us to honor their memory.

The feelings were raw in the room. Some were emotional and passionate.

“The US spent six million dollars for a tank that ISIS took from the Iraqi army and is now using against my people.”

Just days ago, this man had returned from a village caught between ISIS forces and the Yazidi people trapped on Mount Sinjar.

Palestinian Friends Are Starting Over

My Palestinian friend just posted pictures of his bombed apartment in Gaza. An estimated 65,000 Palestinians are now homeless with 1.8 million people displaced. Fortunately, my friend was not home at the time of the shelling. Just in case you are wondering, he was not a part of Hamas. He was an English teacher and loyal to Fatah, although that is becoming increasingly dangerous in a place like Gaza. He was so disturbed when Hamas won the elections in 2006 that he resigned his government teaching position and began looking for ways to study abroad. He was offered a full scholarship to study English Literature at a school in England, but he was not permitted to leave Gaza to receive that scholarship.