On April 3, 2017, the Assyrian Society of Iraq through its president, Mr. Ashur Eskrya, received Mr. Frank Wolf, member of the US House of Representatives, Mr. Mervyn Thomas, Chief executive at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mr. Wael Aleji member at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mr. Todd Chasteen, Chief Legal Officer at Samaritan's Purse, Mr. Matthew Nowery, Country Director in Northern Iraq at Samaritan's Purse, and Mr. Gavin Gramstad of Brimley, Ms. Abby Berg, of Wilberforce. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shiba Mando, President of the Assyrian National Council of Illinois and Mr. Ashur Aprim.
Where this visit comes to take a look on the situation of the displaced people of our people and to discuss ways to return them to their historic areas, also visiting and inspecting many historical and religious sites of churches and monasteries, as well as camps of displaced people, including visiting the Lalish temple and meeting with the Baba Sheikh, who briefed the visiting delegation on the conditions of the Yezidi families living in that area and other areas and the conditions that have afflicted them since the control of terrorists of ISIS over the province of Nineveh and the killing and captivity and displacement of Yezidi families from their areas of residence, and then the delegation visited the region Khannis, and was briefed on the Assyrian monuments that date back more than 6000 years.
On the same day, the delegation visited Odrana camp of AASI for displaced people of our association in the Shiyoz village, where the delegation was briefed on the situation of the displaced people in the camp. Then the delegation went to visit the historical hill of Semel, the site of the Semel massacre in 1933 and prayed for the souls of the martyrs who fell in that massacre, then after the delegation visited the Assyrian Women Union’ headquarter and were received by Mrs. Bahija Nisho, Secretary General of the Assyrian Women Union, Ms. Yulijen Moshi, Director of the Women's Union in Dohuk, and Mrs. Shmiran Aywaz, member of the ADM leadership and other members of the Women Union.
On Friday, Aug. 4th 2017, the delegation visited the Chaldo Assyrian Students & Youth Union who were received by Ms. Aileen Gorgees, the Secretary of the Union and a number of Union’s members. The delegation then visited the Assyrian Cultural Center and met its board member including Mr. Sanwar Daniel, the President of the Center. During this visit, the delegation was briefed on the reality of our displaced people and ways to overcome all the difficulties facing them in order to live a decent life in their land, as well as the activities carried out by the institutions of our people and their prominent role in protecting and consolidating the existence of our people.
On Saturday morning, Aug. 5th 2017, the delegation met with a number of displaced families from Mosul and Nineveh Plain, during which they briefed the delegation on the real picture of the forced displacement of our people by criminal gangs since 2014 and their future visions of living.
On Sunday, Aug. 6th 2017, the delegation visited the Nineveh plain and included the city of Baghdida and its churches as well as inspecting the office of the Assyrian Aid Society in Baghdida, which was opened and started its activities in early July; the delegation also visited the camp of Nineveh Plain Protection Unit in Nineveh Plain, where the delegation was received by Mr. Gevara Zia the political coordinator of NPU, and Colonel Jawad Sakaria, the Unit Commander, who gave a brief explanation of the tasks and role of NPU in providing security and stability in the region and facilitating the return of indigenous people. Among the highlights of the visit was the inspection the archaeological site of ancient city of Nimrod, which was devastated by the terrorist organization of ISIS.
It is hoped that the visiting delegation will prepare a report on everything he saw and documented during his visit and transfer it to the concerned parties in order to increase support that enables the people of the region and to return life to the Nineveh Plain again.