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How To Make Peace In A Divided World

Banksy Love Doctor. Photo by El Payo / CC BY-NC 2.0

We stood outside the glass doors of the hospital, my childhood friend and I, poised to go our separate ways. His father was upstairs, on the 2nd floor, and the outlook was grim.

“The fact that he’s up there is one thing,” he said, looking up over his shoulder. “But coming on the heels of this thing with my mom... it’s like everyone thinks there is one cup of love,” he held his hand together like a cup, “and if I pour this much into his cup, that only leaves me this much to pour into her cup. But love isn’t like that. Love isn’t finite.”

Peace ≠ Neutrality

Street art by Banksy. Photo by Luxerta / CC BY-NC 2.0

Those who work for peace are sometimes perceived as being neutral. Their refusal to respond in kind to hate or aggression is sometimes seen as a refusal to take a stand against evil.

Wanting peace is not the same as being neutral. You can push for peace and justice at the same time.

No Army Can Defeat ISIS... But We Can

For the last remaining ISIS fighters still holed up in Mosul and for those based in Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, there is increasingly no way out. They are surrounded. Foreign fighters have even less chance of escape, since they’re unable to blend in with locals who are fleeing the battle.

Now, foreign fighters they’re being targeted for extermination—in some cases, by their own countries.

Can You Change the Lives of Eight Families in Ten Weeks?

They were nearly at the end of their training course—eight men who learned how to build with aluminum and PVC. Their last assignment was to work together to complete a real project for a real client. They read the brief together, visited the site, and took measurements together. The social worker who commissioned a ‘child-friendly space’ to be built in the local juvenile detention center knew exactly what she wanted—our students needed to deliver. 

What Do Sheep Have To Do With Chemotherapy? Everything.

Daod winces each time he shifts his thin frame on the sleeping mat. There isn’t much padding between his bones and the cool concrete floor below.

Daod is 17. He lives in Mosul, is a big fan of Lionel Messi and loves to watch prank shows on TV. And he’s been fighting cancer for the last three years.

Defying ISIS and Dodging Airstrikes to Provide Medical Care in Mosul

“What drove you to do this work, despite the danger?”

“Our shared humanity.” Ibtisam speaks with the confidence of someone who has lived a dozen lifetimes during her short time on earth. “How could I not help when I had the [medical] experience that people needed?”

What is Jihad? It's Complicated...

In the opening days of World War II, Europe experienced the original “shock and awe” campaign. Nazi Germany’s military forces unleashed unprecedented terror onto neighbouring countries. They were the first to use modern technology at immense scale, in order to launch “an intense military campaign intended to bring about a swift victory.”The Germans called this blitzkrieg, which translates into English as “lightning war”.

Turning Crisis Into Opportunity for Refugees

During grade school, Ibrahim’s friends were busy with math, science, and memorizing vocabulary—normal stuff for fifth graders. They walked to school together, kicked balls (or cans or stones or whatever else was handy) on their way home, and talked about upcoming holidays for their Yazidi community. Like kids everywhere, they were always longing for the next holiday.

But by fifth grade, Ibrahim didn’t walk to school with his friends anymore. He worked on a neighbour’s potato farm and used his earnings to help his family. 

Meet The Boy Who Risked His Life to Save His Family During the Battle for Mosul

Ali risked his young life to help his family survive the battle for Mosul

They kept waiting for the shooting to stop, but it just went on and on, for hours.

“Actually, we waited days for the fighting to stop,” Rajab emphasized.

'Don't Serve Those People. They Were With ISIS.'

You can feel it in the air in this part of Mosul, the desperation. 

While we were here distributing food the other day, two conflicting realities played out before our eyes: Iraqi forces declaring victory in Mosul on the one hand, while on the other hand bombs continued to fall and ISIS continued continued to attack. 

Victory in Mosul? Four Things You Should Know

Iraq’s prime minister has visited the city of Mosul and declared victory after more than three years of ISIS rule here.

So now what?

'They're All ISIS'—West Mosul Families Who Stayed Become Targets of Suspicion

“We know they are all [ISIS] families. But what do we do, kill them all?”

Reading this quote from an Iraqi soldier stationed in Mosul’s Old City should have been jarring to me. But it wasn’t. Over the last few days, we’ve heard similar statements made by soldiers charged with clearing residents from the most recently liberated neighbourhoods of Mosul.

Feeding the Hungry, Healing the Sick: Your Love Across Iraq

The intense battle for Mosul continued to rage in June, and you continued to show up with emergency relief. But that’s not all you’re doing. You’re providing water and medical care in and around Mosul.

Here is a recap of what you made possible last month.

We Stood Where ISIS Declared Its ‘Caliphate.’ But it Was Nothing Like We Imagined.

This week we reached the site of the al-Nuri mosque, the historic 800-year-old monument in the heart of Mosul, where ISIS declared their caliphate in 2014. We waited years for this moment. So did the people of Mosul. But it was nothing like we imagined.

Mosul: If Their World Is Torn Apart, So Is mine

This is what "home" looks like for many families on the run from war.

ISIS is kicking people out of their homes and hiding fighters inside until security forces come to clear it.

Then ISIS blows up the house.

Mosul's Housing Crisis Means Families Can't Go Home

Despite the fact that ISIS has almost been pushed out of Mosul, life in the northern Iraqi city is far from normal. And for people fleeing the fighting in other parts of the city, or returning from displacement camps to find their homes destroyed, housing is one of the biggest problems.

The UN Is Cutting Aid for Displaced Iraqis

The battle for Mosul isn’t done yet, but help is already drying up for displaced families—especially for those who refuse to surrender their sovereignty by moving into the confines of a refugee camp.

According to Rudaw Media Network, UN food provision for displaced Iraqis not living in camps is about to be cut.

Inside Mosul's Old City: Your Love on the Frontlines

Yesterday we entered the Old City, one street away from the last pockets of ISIS resistance in Mosul. The destruction here is beyond anything I’ve seen.

President Trump Promised to 'Bomb the **** Out of ISIS,' and He’s Keeping His Word. Here’s the Cost.

We were in Mosul’s Old City over the weekend. The death and destruction are unfathomable. Dead bodies litter the streets. Officials estimate that up to 4,000 more may be trapped in the rubble of west Mosul. The majority of them are civilians—children, women, young and old people. Caught in a war that is not of their making.

An airstrike hit a few dozen meters away while we were filming an update at what remains of the al-Nuri mosque, where ISIS declared their so-called caliphate three years ago. You could hear the debris whizzing through the air. We got the tiniest taste of the terror, destruction, and carnage that people here have been living with for months.

Mosul: Don't Look Away

Please. Don't look away.

She was rescued from Mosul this week, where ISIS is still fighting with ruthless ferocity. Our ambulance driver took her to one of our medical clinics in west Mosul, where we're treating her.

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