A Tale of Two Springs

Facilitating peace, development and banking in Mosul, Iraq

Archive for December 2010

Christmas in Mosul

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A few weeks ago a Chaldean Christian man told me the story of an Iraqi rabbi who spoke to a Chaldean priest one Saturday about 60 years ago. At that time, Iraq was an increasingly dangerous place for Jewish communities that had been here for centuries. “Our holy day is Saturday, and they are coming for us,” the rabbi reportedly said. “Don’t forget that tomorrow is your holy day.” Shortly thereafter, nearly all of Iraq’s Jewish communities fled.

Iraqi Shiite Muslim women from the Sadr movement light candles for Sayidat al-Nejat Catholic Cathedral victims

Today I am Jewish in a Muslim country on Christmas. It is not an easy time to be Christian in Iraq. Every few days there are reports of attacks in this region, attempted murders or kidnappings of the Christian minority. Two months ago a dramatic attack in a Baghdad church killed over 50.

Iraqi Christians, who trace their lineage here back to the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, say that there were nearly 1.5 million Christians living peacefully in Iraq prior to 2003. Today they believe there are less than 500,000.

Please keep in your thoughts and prayers today the Chaldean, Assyrian and Syriac communities of Iraq. In the face of terroristic violence and caught in the middle of ethno-religious conflict, it is unclear whether they can or will remain here.

There is no religious war in Iraq. Iraqi Sunni Arab, Shia Arab, Christian and Kurdish leaders state a clear commitment to protecting Christians against violence. We have seen numerous individual Muslim acts to protect, to honor and to mourn Christian Iraqis. They are acts that the world should see on this Christmas. It is a war of lunatic murderers, and Iraqis are uniting against it. In whatever way we can, we should join them.

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Written by treadingupthetigris

December 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Tip On Flying Into Mosul

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Mosul Airport

Mosul Airport

As Iraq’s economy begins to show signs of steady growth and investors lurk here and here and here, those flying into Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, should be aware it could take a while.

There is one regular commercial flight to Mosul, arriving Sunday afternoon from Dubai. If you arrive with a visa, please bring something to sleep in, as you likely will spend the night at the immigration counter at the airport. Iraq immigration officials, in an abundance of caution, confirm all visas by phone with the head office in Baghdad. Though Sunday is a work day in Iraq, Mosul Airport officials say that immigration authorities attending to the phones in Baghdad have gone home by the time of the 3 or 4 pm. arrival of the Dubai flight. Once the Baghdad office opens Monday morning, the visas can be confirmed, and you will be welcomed warmly into Mosul.

For those who prefer not to spend a night at the immigration counter, you may be able to call ahead to the Mosul Airport and have your visa pre-approved. And once you arrive, don’t forget to begin processing your exit visa immediately. That process can take weeks, and you need it to leave.

Written by treadingupthetigris

December 8, 2010 at 5:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized