Happy 2019, from Iraq by Maranie Staab

In just the past week Iraq has shared with me much of its pain as well as much of its beauty. I’ve been welcomed into the lives of many and been witness to examples of hope and resilience by those who’ve suffered immensely. As I welcome in the new year (my first new year here ) I’m reminded that it’s a privilege to be a witness—I’m grateful for this life and wish for little more than to continue on this path. .
The best is yet to come, folks. Peace and love from Iraq 🇮🇶 ❤️ ✌️


Education // Bajed Kandala by Maranie Staab

One of the many consequences of displacement—whether it be because of conflict, poverty, environmental, political or otherwise—is the disruption of education for children and young adults alike. While in Mosul last year I remember meeting young adults, similar in age to myself, who had no choice but to abandon their studies when ISIS took hold of the city.

For the Yazidis displaced from Sinjar in August 2014 the story is similar — despite efforts from (some) NGOs and individual volunteers, education halted as people were forced to flee and has yet to resume the regularity or attendance that existed in Sinjar. in the Bajad Kandala camp in Iraqi Kurdistan one school operates and the majority of educational efforts are being made by volunteers—other displaced Yazidis living with the camp.

khalid, age 12 by Maranie Staab

khalid is 12 and fled syria 5 years ago, at the age of 7 with his mother, father and younger brother abdalazeez. 
after spending one year in tripoli (lebanon) and 2 years in zahle he and his family are now living in what can best be described as a makeshift shed outside of beirut, lebanon. .
khalid was in kindergarten when his family fled; his studies have been disrupted by displacement but he shared that he wants to be an engineer when he grows up. .
when i asked him what he wished for his answer was first that he wanted a warm shower (there is no running water where they live) and that he just wished to return to syria, see his friends again and live in peace.