Dominican University

We Have Family in Iraq: Dominican Sisters in Crisis

We Have Family in Iraq: Dominican Sisters in Crisis

 



In this series of letters, sent between June 23 and July 22, 2015, Sister Maria Hanna OP of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine Church of Siena, Mosul, Iraq describe the takeover of several cities in the Nineveh province, including Mosul and Karakosh, by the Islamic State (ISIS.) Thousands of Christians and Muslims, and 50-70 Dominican Sisters, are forced into exile. Church property is destroyed and the Motherhouse has been bombed. The Sisters work to provide food and shelter to the refugees in their exile, and, after many weeks apart, are reunited in the convents at Erbil and Ankawa. The final letter was written one year after the exodus. This collection also includes a student research project on the effects of sanctions on Iraq, using the letters and other archival sources.

Acknowledgement: Sinsinawa Dominicans, Inc.

Original online publication of letters, and accompanying video and photographs: http://www.sinsinawa.org/news_events/iraq-letters.html.

Recent Submissions

  • Goodman, Victoria (2015-12-16)
    Forty-two years after the United States of America pioneered the Universal Declarations of Human Rights, America agreed to be the main proponent of an economic embargo against Iraq in 1990. Millions of Iraqis suffered and ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P. (2015-07-22)
    On the 1-year anniversary of the Sisters' exodus to Erbil, Sister Maria recounts that night and gives thanks to God. In the past year, the Sisters, displaced persons themselves, have started two kindergartens and a clinic ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-09-28)
    Providing aid to displaced families is becoming harder as the weather turns cold and schools - where many refugees had been staying - are reopening for classes. Temporary housing for the Sisters is complete in Erbil and ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-09-09)
    Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:2, Sister Marie writes of the death of three Sisters after their exodus to Erbil, of the renewals of vows of two Sisters, and of the receiving of the habit of two postulants. Neither the Iraqi ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-08-23)
    Sister Maria begins this letter with a plea for help for all displaced families. She says some refugees would rather die than live so undignified. The letter contains more reports on the lack of aid, ISIS takeovers of ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-08-17)
    Over 75,000 refugees have arrived in Erbil. The Sisters are providing aid but there is simply not enough food, water, clothing, medicine, money or housing for everyone. Many convents in the surrounding area have been ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-07-19)
    Sister Maria writes that the missing Sisters and children who had been taken by ISIS were released with a warning that Christians must convert to Islam, pay tribute to ISIS or leave Mosul with only the clothes they're ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-07-02)
    ISIS, despite pleas from the Mullah of Ahmed Ismail mosque, occupied the Archdiocese of Chaldean Catholics in Mosul and destroyed its consecrated items and its artwork. Sr. Maria has heard nothing of the missing Sisters ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-06-29)
    During a brief cease fire, Sr. Maria and the other Sisters returned to their Karakosh convent. Iraqi Christians have taken some comfort in the Patriarch of Syriac Church's visit. The government has begun fighting ISIS ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-06-26)
    As the Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) are fighting ISIS near Karakosh, Sr. Maria reports that all but about 100 people have fled the city. The sisters have left for several convents in surrounding cities and are aiding refugees. ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-08-08)
    The Peshmerga pulls out of Karakosh, forcing residents, including the Sisters, to flee. Sister Marie describes the treacherous journey from Karakosh to Erbil, where they seek refuge and help provide aid. Other Sisters ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-08-04)
    As ISIS holds control of Mosul, more families are leaving the city and relying on aid from villages and churches in Karakosh and surrounding villages. ISIS is destroying churches and mosques, and enforcing strict Islamic ...
  • Hanna, Maria, O.P.; Dominican Sisters, Saint Catherine of Siena, Iraq (2014-06-23)
    As ISIS's takeover of Mosul begins, Sr. Maria writes of the city's residents' confusion in the absence of clear control and basic public services. She has heard of attacks on Christian churches and the destruction of the ...

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