Culture

Assyrian Church in Bartella organises iftar banquet

Iraq

An Assyrian Church in the city of Bartella in Mosul host a mass iftar banquet for Muslims in the city. The attendees expressed their delight at the efforts put in by the Christian Iraqis to sow the seeds of unity and patriotism after the removal of ISIS.

The Assyrian Church of Mart Chmouni in the town of Bartella in the Nineveh Plains hosted an iftar banquet for Muslim volunteers and security forces. The iftar coincided with the arrival of an Iraqi youth delegation, which delivered food baskets to needy families in the Right Bank of Mosul (West Mosul).

The attendees of the iftar expressed their gratitude and delight in being invited by their Iraqi Christian brothers. “We are delighted to be attending the [iftar banquet organised by] our fellow Christian brothers in Bartella,” said Iraqi Major General Najm al-Jubouri, the Commander of the Nineveh Operations. ”I feel happy when I find that the Christians are returning to their original homes, this proves that Mosul is recovering leaving behind all the pains and difficulties [of the past].”

The Christian town of Bartella was liberated from ISIS by the Iraqi Security Forces in October 2016. During ISIS’ reign, the Christian residents of Bartella were persecuted, their Churches burnt and their homes attacked and tagged by ISIS.
After liberation, Christian families returned to the city and began the reconstruction process. While the physical remnants of ISIS’ rule still remain, another aspect of reconstruction involves national reconciliation between the various ethnic and religious groups that exist in the Nineveh plains.

To stress the importance of reconciliation in the Nineveh Plains, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi attended a conference in the area three months ago, where a document of honour was signed between the groups promoting peaceful coexistence.

“Our Christian brothers have taken a serious step in advocating this document by organising this iftar banquet in the Nineveh Plains, inviting all of its people regardless of their religious backgrounds,” said Abdul Khalid Dikhel, head of the Nineveh Municipality. “We have thankfully, overcome many steps and peaceful coexistence is a base on which we can build a new civilised state through the means available within a united Iraq.” Such efforts for reconciliation are positive signs that the various groups in Iraq are trying to rebuild their country after the devastation that ISIS caused to the country. According to Mr. Dikhel, Iraqis have achieved two victories: defeating ISIS and the revival of patriotism in the nation amongst all groups.