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Noeh back at school in liberated Karamles, Iraq


27 November 2017

Schools in the Nineveh Plain, Iraq are open for the first time since so-called Islamic State (IS) militants occupied the area. Twelve-year-old aspiring teacher, Noeh is pleased to be back at school and is doing well despite the lack of teachers and resources.

Noeh, 12, said, “I like school. I like my school in particular. My best subject is Arabic language. I also like to play football with my friends at school. I want to be a teacher here so I can teach children about life.”

“Noeh is a smart student and he’s doing well in his exams at school,” said his mother, Almas. “Last time he got 13 out of 15 on one of these tests. I am very happy for that and I thank God.”

Every £15 could help a child to attend school for a week, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need for the future, whatever challenges they face in the present.

Noeh at school

MANY TEACHERS HAVEN’T RETURNED

As with many other schools in the Nineveh Plain, Karamles’ secondary school lacks teachers. Some left the country or moved away, while others retired. For three subjects Noeh and his classmates have no teacher so other teachers try to cover the subject. But it’s not always possible. “Because the lack of teachers, the daily hours at school are not fixed,” said Almas. “Sometimes Noeh returns home at 11am, sometimes at 12.30pm.”

The classes are also smaller than they were before IS devastated the village. “My friend, Youssif used to sit behind me. But he fled to another country,” said Noeh.

REPAIR AND REBUILD

Noeh visited his school, earlier this year, after Karamles was liberated from IS. But he dared not go in to the classroom in case the militants had laid any traps. “I can’t walk into my class or sit in my seat because there might be bombs,” he said.

The school in Karamles has since been repaired. The broken windows were replaced and the classrooms cleaned and repainted.

Noeh was just nine years old when he fled IS militants in 2014. He left his home in Karamles in the Nineveh Plains and fled to Erbil. When the village was liberated, Noeh’s family were among the first ten families to return home. They returned to find their house badly burnt and all their things gone. The family is currently living in Noeh’s aunt’s house until their house is inhabitable again. Noeh’s aunt has fled the country.

Every £15 could help a child to attend school for a week, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need for the future, whatever challenges they face in the present.

Noeh at school

SPEAK UP FOR NOEH

In December Noeh will travel to New York to present the Hope for the Middle East petition to the UN. The petition calls on world governments and leaders to ensure that every person in the Middle East, no matter their faith, has a home, a future and a voice. The petition currently has over 657,000 signatures from 143 countries including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq and even one signature from North Korea. You have until 8 December to sign and share the petition and speak up for Noeh.

Noeh at school

PLEASE PRAY

  • That Noeh and the other children in the Nineveh Plain will be able to continue their studies in a peaceful environment
  • Thank God that life is returning to normal for them
  • Pray that those who suffered trauma at the hands of IS will recover and be healed from what they have witnessed.

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