I work on location near and far helping entrepreneurs with their personal branding. On this occasion I traveled to Northern Iraq for ARCH International. You can read about my travels this extraordinary part of the world in my blog/events sections with links to a Harvard Press article an ARCH blog post and an exhibit “Beauty for Ashes”.
Here live some of the oldest continuous Catholics in the world going back to the First Century AD when Thomas the Apostle founded the Church of the East. They came into Communion with the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.
Due to their recent war where ISIS nearly destroyed the towns of Batnaya and Telskoff they are struggling to stay in their homeland.
ARCH International is rebuilding the Shrine of the Hebrew prophet Nahum in the town of Alqosh. It is hoped that pilgrims and tourists return to this deeply spiritual and holy place.Read more about my travels in Nineveh on ARCH International blog post. Here is an excerpt
“Are you documenting this??” This is a very common reaction we get after we tell people the longer version of what we are doing in Iraq, the more entwined story, full of fascinating details, ups and downs, and steady progress.
Since Kathryn Costello joined ARCH, we have a photographer on the team. So, yes, we were documenting our project before, but with Kathy we now have professional images to go along with many of the stories we love to tell.
Recently, her photos, taken on two trips to Iraq, were exhibited at the beautiful former Harvard Public Library (1887), now a community arts collaborative, Fivesparks, in the town Harvard, Massachusetts. On November 1, Kathy held a presentation, as part of which she showed additional photos, video material, and offered a Q&A session following her talk. Around 50 local residents joined that evening, and I was curious about the audience’s questions. Kathy told me that her audience was specifically interested in the Kurds and their history, and the town of Alqosh with its Assyrian and Chaldean Catholic residents. They were surprised that Alqosh is a Christian town, and that the history of the region has such a strong interfaith character. The people of Nineveh have lived through times of stability and peace, with different ethnicities and religions living alongside each other, but they have also experienced persecution, displacement, massacres, and genocide. Since 2003, the Christian community of Iraq is estimated to have shrunk from 1.5 million to 250,000.”