About three years ago I had the privilege of travelling to a mountainous region of the Middle East often referred to as Kurdistan or literally ‘The Land of the Kurds”. I spent about a month being immersed in Kurdish culture, including multiple sessions of drinking chai with the locals and listening to their stories, of which they have many. I fell in love with the people of this hospitable but very “non-touristy” corner of the world.
The Kurds have a long history of being despised and mistreated. In fact, a well known Kurdish proverb says “The mountains are our only friend”. Over the last twenty or so years, the Kurds have periodically been in the news, especially during the 1980s and early ’90s when Saddam Hussein’s forces carried out a series of 281 chemical attacks and experiments on the Kurds of northern Iraq. The most devastating attack occurred in 1988 in the town of Halabja, killing thousands of people, most of them civilians. It’s estimated that 3,200-5,000 people died on the spot and 7,000-10,000 were injured. Thousands more died of horrific complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack. In fact, experts believe that those 281 chemical attacks have contributed to the high rate of life-threatening heart disease among children in the region today.
So, when I recently heard about a couple of guys who are currently living in Iraq and using some really innovative methods to make a difference in the lives of Iraqi children suffering from heart conditions, I was eager to find out more. They call themselves The Preemptive Love Coalition and here’s what they say about themselves on their website.
“We are a few Americans living as civilians in Iraq. No ammo. No guns. Just armed with love and the profits from your purchases, we give away what we call “preemptive love.” We want to do something to contribute to the future of these wonderful people. In order to accomplish that, we sell hand-made Iraqi shoes that are truly amazing. We use all the proceeds to fund heart surgeries for children who would otherwise die without some sort of outside help.”
KB – Create Emerge
Tags: Children, Medical
This entry was posted on Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 3:03 pm and is filed under America, North, AREAS OF MINISTRY, Compassion & Social Justice, Health Care, Inspirational Stories, Middle East, Reports & Reviews, Training & Opportunities, WORLD MISSION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.