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April 16, 2021

Field Notes from Helena

OLIVE TREE CENTER UPDATES The Olive Tree Center remains open with art, piano, guitar, salon, gardening, and English language (beginner, intermediate grammar & conversation) classes. Mahmoud, a Jordanian Muslim artist, started classes and is very popular; He teaches adults and children, and class attendance by Iraqi men has particularly increased. Piano & guitar classes led by two Jordanian young men continue to positively impact children and adults alike. It is the very first time many of the refugees have been able to access the music class. The Olive Tree Center continues to serve as a hub for relief operations (clothing, vitamin, & food coupon distributions). Once the pandemic ends, American FRRME will host an “open house” Iraqi cultural event. This will be open to the community and invite members from Embassies, the international community, local businesses, and more. Attendees will enjoy a “taste of Iraqi culture.”  This will advance our efforts to ease community tension and divides, as well as […]

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April 8, 2021

Bringing life back to the Nineveh Plain

Through generous donations, American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East was able to restore the only Olive Oil Soap factory in the Bashiqa area! This project was part of our Nineveh SEED employment program. Destroyed by the ISIS invasion in 2014, this restored factory is now bringing life back to the Nineveh Plain! Before the ISIS invasion, this area was famous for its olive oil products. ISIS deliberately destroyed the ancient olive groves in the Nineveh Plain […]

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March 30, 2021

Meet Leka and Ashwaq

In 2014, sisters Leka and Ashwaq fled to Jordan from Qaraqosh when ISIS invaded. Leka has 3 sons and a daughter, Ban. She was only a few weeks pregnant at the time with her youngest son, Androus “Nando.” Nando only knows life as a refugee. Ashwaq, Leka’s younger sister, has 3 kids, Cassandra, Clara, and Stavro, who are all active members of the Olive Tree Center in Jordan. For these sisters, it is vital that they are able to preserve […]

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March 19, 2021

10 years later…

This month marks 10 years since the Syrian civil war began. For most Syrians, the past 10 years have been the hardest of their lives. Since the start of the war,  more than 380,000 Syrians have been killed and a staggering 13.2 million have been displaced, with 80 percent of Syrians living in poverty. In desperation, many Syrians have no choice but to flee to neighboring countries like Jordan. Syria is a dangerous region for everyone, but most especially Christians. […]

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March 12, 2021

Healing Through Music

The Olive Tree Center in Madaba, Jordan offers several different types of therapy and classes including music therapy and lessons to the refugee community, as music is a wonderful tool for healing. Many refugees have witnessed horrific events or lost loved ones and are frequently afraid to ask for help because people with mental health problems are often stigmatized in the Middle East. Many have benefited greatly from the therapy offered at the Olive Tree Center, music being the most […]

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  • March 4, 2021

    The Pope is coming to Iraq!

    On Friday, March 5th, Pope Francis will make history by being the first pope to visit Iraq. The […]

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  • March 3, 2021

    Field Notes From Helena

      American FRRME- COVID-19 Relief Strategy Update: There has been an increase in COVID-19 cases due to a […]

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  • February 18, 2021

    Seeds of Hope

    As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the refugees American FRRME supports in Jordan remain resilient. They continue to […]

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  • February 10, 2021

    Meet Sahar

    Sahar (names have been changed) is a 35-year-old refugee mother of four. Originally from Qaraqosh (in Northern Iraq) […]

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