Fr. Majeed: «I am really happy when I bless their new houses»
In the last weeks 146 Christian families, that had been living in Ankawa (Erbil) as “displaced people”, returned home, to Qaraqosh. They left their city three years ago because of the Islamic State, who attacked the Nineveh Plains and destroyed early 13.000 houses (6.700 only in Qaraqosh).
Fr. Majeed Hazem Attalla – secretary of the Syriac-Catholic Archbishop of Mossul, Yohanna Petros Mouche – is very happy when the families ask him to bless their houses before they move in. «Some families have renovated their houses on their own. Other houses have been renovated by “Aid to the Church in Need” or by other institutions», Fr. Majeed says.
Qaraqosh is slowly coming back to normal life. «Every Sunday on 6 p. m. we celebrate the mess in the St. John Church. Every Friday we teach catechism in the St. Jacob Church. I am living by the Archbishop Mouche, who comes every week to Qaraqosh and stays a couple of days. I visit every day the soldiers of NPU (Nineveh-Plains Protection Units) who are protecting the town».
But there are still enormous challenges the town of Qaraqosh has to face. «We have only ten transformer houses, that are working to produce power but we need at least 100. Some parts of the town do not have water supply yet. Besides, the families do not have a job yet. Only few families have started with their activities again. They will need a job when they return. This is really a big problem», Fr. Majeed notices.
«The Christian families – Fr. Majeed continues – are still a bit sad. They are waiting for other families coming back. They do not like to stay alone, without their neighbours. But I am sure many other families will come back soon. Some families are just cleaning their house because they are up to return. Other families are waiting for the end of the school in Ankawa: they will surely return once their children finish school».