I traveled to Nineveh the heart of Christianity in Iraq. Here live some of the oldest continuous Christians in the world dating back to the first century with Thomas the Apostle founding the Church of the East. They came into communion with the Roman Catholic Church in the middle ages.
Here I am in the town of Alqosh with Father Araam Romel Qia who showed me around Alqosh, Batnaya and Telskoff last April. I learned how much this community lived in fear under the threat of ISIS. Yet they remain a people so warm and welcoming.
You may read more about my time there in an ARCH International blog post. Here is an excerpt.
“…Her two visits to Iraq were specifically on a mission for ARCH. The first time, she went as part of a group, and it was her first time in the Middle East, so she was slightly overwhelmed at times, taking photos “on-the-go”, often not sure if she will return to a place or if she will meet someone again. Impressions passed her quickly and she really had a strong urge to go back with more time to explore. As a trained portrait photographer, in her work it is very important to find the right light, the best angle, and to get to know the people she photographs. “Some of my best work comes about after I make a study of one place.” Little did she know at the time that her second trip would happen rather soon after, and this time, she went on her own, and spent a whole week in the town of Alqosh. …One of the video clips Kathy showed her audience was of Father Araam playing with a baby. He gives her a plastic water bottle and the baby drops it off her high chair and couldn’t be happier. The little one giggles and repeats the game over and over again. After the presentation someone came up to Kathy and remarked that this particular clip made the people more relatable to him, ‘babies are the same everywhere!'”